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Pepperdine University

Graduate School of Education and Psychology

PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

AMONG SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction

of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Education in Leadership, Administration and Public Policy

by

Nicole Erica Chatwin

February, 2018

Dr. Doug Leigh, Ph.D. – Dissertation Chairperson






ProQuest Number: 10744834




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This dissertation, written by

Nicole Erica Chatwin

under the guidance of a Faculty Committee and approved by its members, has been submitted to
and accepted by the Graduate Faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

Doctoral Committee:

Dr. Doug Leigh, Ph.D., Chairperson

Dr. Robert Barner, Ed.D.

Dr. David Miyashiro, Ed.D.




TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................v

LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................................... vi

ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................................. vii

Chapter One: Introduction ...............................................................................................................1

Problem Statement ..................................................................................................................... 3


Purpose Statement ...................................................................................................................... 4
Research Questions .................................................................................................................... 5
Hypotheses ................................................................................................................................. 5
Importance of the Study ............................................................................................................. 5
Operational Definitions .............................................................................................................. 6
Key Terms .................................................................................................................................. 7
Theoretical Framework .............................................................................................................. 9
Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory .................................................................. 9
Big Five Personality Theory / Jung’s Theory of Personality ...................................... 10
Limitations ............................................................................................................................... 10
Delimitations ............................................................................................................................ 13
Assumptions ............................................................................................................................. 13
Organization of the Study ........................................................................................................ 14

Chapter Two: Literature Review ...................................................................................................15

Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 15
Historical Background.............................................................................................................. 16
Leadership Style .......................................................................................................... 16
Personality Traits ........................................................................................................ 17
Personality Traits and Leadership Style in Educational Admin ................................. 18
Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................................ 20
Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory ................................................................ 20
Big Five Personality Theory / Jung’s Theory of Personality ...................................... 24
Summary .................................................................................................................................. 32

Chapter Three: Methodology ........................................................................................................33

Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 33
Research Design and Rationale ................................................................................................ 33
Population, Sampling Procedures, Sampling and Response Rate ............................................ 34
Human Subjects Considerations............................................................................................... 35
Measures................................................................................................................................... 37
Data Collection Procedures ...................................................................................................... 45
Data Analysis ........................................................................................................................... 46

Chapter Four: Findings ..................................................................................................................48

Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 48



Presentation of Key Findings ................................................................................................... 51
Complications........................................................................................................................... 65
Research Question One ............................................................................................................ 66
Correlations Among Leadership Style and Personality Traits .................................... 67
Canonical Correlation Analysis .................................................................................. 70
Research Question Two ........................................................................................................... 75
Elementary School Educational Administrators ...................................................................... 82
Middle School Educational Administrators ............................................................................. 83
High School Educational Administrators ................................................................................. 83
“Other” Educational Administrators ........................................................................................ 85
Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA)........................................................ 89
Summary of Key Findings ....................................................................................................... 91

Chapter Five: Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................93

Discussion ................................................................................................................................ 93
Associations between Leadership Style and Personality Traits ............................................... 93
Leadership Style .......................................................................................................... 93
Personality Traits ........................................................................................................ 94
Leadership Style and Personality Traits in Educational Administration ................................. 97
Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) Results ............................................ 97
Elementary School Educational Administrators ......................................................... 97
Middle School Educational Administrators .............................................................. 102
High School Educational Administrators.................................................................. 105
Implications for Policy and Practice ...................................................................................... 109
Recommendations for Future Research ................................................................................. 110
Summary ................................................................................................................................ 112

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................115

APPENDIX A: Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire Measurement Tool .............................128

APPENDIX B: Ten Item Personality Inventory Measurement Tool..........................................134

APPENDIX C: MLQ: 5X International Normative Sample.......................................................135

APPENDIX D: Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Female Score Norms by Age ..............137

APPENDIX E: Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Male Score Norms by Age ..................138

APPENDIX F: Pepperdine University/Nicole Chatwin IRB Approval Notice ..........................139

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: California Unified School Districts .................................................................................11

Table 2: Participant Demographics ................................................................................................53

Table 3: Descriptive Statistics for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) ............... 56

Table 4: Five-Number Summary for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) ...........57

Table 5: Descriptive Statistics for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) ..............................62

Table 6: Five-Number Summary for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)..........................63

Table 7: Associations between the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and the
Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) ................................................................................ 69

Table 8: Pearson Correlation Coefficients for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)
and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) ......................................................70

Table 9: Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) Permutation Test Results ...............74

Table 10: Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Permutation Test Results .................................74

Table 11: Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviation for Educational
Administrators Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) ....................................84

Table 12: Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational
Administrators Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) ........................................................85

Table 13: Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational
Administrators (Other) Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) .......................86

Table 14: Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational
Administrators (Other) Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) ...........................................88

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Participant survey response timeline ..............................................................................50

Figure 2: Histogram and boxplots for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) ..........58

Figure 3: Histogram and boxplot for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) .........................64

Figure 4: Canonical correlation hypothesis and error plot.............................................................73

Figure 5: Elementary school administrators’ Q-Q plots ................................................................78

Figure 6: Middle school administrators’ Q-Q plots .......................................................................79

Figure 7: High school administrators’ Q-Q plots ......................................................................... 81

Figure 8: Bivariate histograms .......................................................................................................91

vi

ABSTRACT

Educational administrators are expected to provide guidance to various stakeholders within the

school environment. Educational administrator personality traits and leadership style were the

focus of this study. Two research questions guided the focus of the current study. The first question

examines the association between the degree of the transformational leadership style, the

transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style and the

magnitude of the Big Five personality traits of California unified school district administrators.

The second question explored the relationship between educational administrator school type

(elementary, middle and high school) with leadership style as well as personality traits. Although

several studies focus on leadership style and personality traits independently, little is known about

the interaction between school administrator’s leadership style in relation to their personality traits.

Additionally, few studies have investigated the relationship between administrator school type

(elementary, middle and high school) with leadership style as well as personality traits. This

quantitative study utilizes a self-report survey design with a sampling of 376 California unified

school district educational administrators. Study data was collected using the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) to measure leadership style as well as the Tem Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) used to measure personality traits. Findings from this study indicate

a statistically significant relationship between educational administrators’ leadership style and

personality traits. Furthermore, results indicate a statistically significant difference detected

between the educational administrators’ school type (elementary, middle, high school) and

leadership style in relation to their personality traits.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Chapter 1: Introduction

Educational administrators are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the complex

structure of the school system on a day to day basis. An understanding of how personality traits

and leadership style impacts interactions with others and how we make decisions may be

beneficial to support stakeholders within the school environment. Personality appears to be a

product of various life experiences as well as many innate characteristics that come together to

create whomever we are and how we interact with our surroundings (Jung, 1971a). Due to this

connection between personality and behavior, it is important for educational leaders to engage in

professional development to cultivate a better understanding about personality (Rychlak, 1968).

School administrators are tasked with overseeing various components of an organization and

must lead others to promote an optimal learning environment (Schneider & Burton, 2001). It is

beneficial for school administrators to know their leadership style, as well as the ability to

decipher the leadership style of those around them, in order to make the most of individual

strengths and to motivate others to be their best (Andersen, 2006).

Considering the relationship between personality and decision-making, it is reasonable to

assert that personality has an impact on a school administrator’s leadership style. Leadership

style is developed around motivating others, creating a mission and vision for the school,

empowering others and creating collaboration (Hanbury, 2001). Leadership style is unique to

each particular educational leader and their personality traits have an impact on how they see

their subordinates and how they chose to lead others (Holland, 1973). School administrators who

know their personality traits can utilize this information to understand how their personality

preferences affect how they make decisions (Oplatka, 2004).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

An educational leader’s personality and beliefs are illustrated in many ways throughout

their school. When hiring for a position or when the human resources department is placing an

administrator at a school site, finding the correct personality trait fit at a particular school site

should be considered (Collins, 2001). Both the personality traits and leadership style of the

educational administrators, as well as the individual personalities of the people who work with

the leader, are important elements to take into account when hiring in order to find the best fit

inside the organization. Personalities of leaders and their followers both come with a unique set

of gifts and goals, and leaders are influenced daily, both by their personality traits in regards to

how they make decisions as well as the personalities around them that influence their ability to

lead (Silverthorne, 2001). It may be beneficial for educational leaders to acknowledge their

innate personality trait tendencies and attempt to understand how they perceive the world around

them (Drummond & Stoddard, 1992). This introspection can assist administrators in recognizing

possible biases, personal preferences and/or other tendencies as a leader (Myers-Briggs &

McCaully, 1985).

Bass (1985) illustrated that leadership behaviors can be influenced by situational factors

and the leader’s surroundings. These factors should be considered before a school administrator

is placed within a school site or in a leadership position. Collins (2001) described the necessity to

first find the right people for a team and then place them in the environment where they will be

most successful according to their personality preferences. In order for an educational

administrator to thrive in their position, it is helpful if their personal fit within the school’s

community is harmonious (Brown, Riley, Walrath, Leaf & Valdez, 2008). Without the right

balance for all parties involved it can become difficult for any kind of influential understanding

to emerge. If personalities between educators and administrators clash and growth cannot occur,

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

then it can become clear that the wrong person is currently occupying the position at that

particular school. In some cases, it may simply be a case of the follower’s personalities clashing

with the leader’s personality resulting in conflict. Understanding personality traits and personal

preferences, then, can assist administrators in anticipating teachers, students, parents and

community members and other stakeholders’ needs, behaviors and drives (Cerit, 2009).

Problem Statement

School administrators are expected to provide leadership and guidance to the teachers,

students and parents in their learning community in order to sustain the most optimal learning

environment. While many school districts offer various trainings, professional development

opportunities and guidance in terms of leadership, the notion of personality traits and its affects

on leadership style is neither discussed nor formally explored by most school districts. Due to

this, there is varying information available regarding the impact on leadership style in terms of

personality traits within the educational community.

Nevertheless, there are various scholarly articles available postulating the notion that

personality traits do impact leadership style as well as the various ways that the leaders relate to

other people (Brown et al., 2008; Hautala, 2005). Educational leaders may not recognize how

their particular personality traits influence their decisions as well as their overall leadership style.

Educational administrators would benefit if they directed attention towards those internal

motivations that personality traits represent, especially those drives that influence decision-

making (Brown-Ferrigno, 2007). It is therefore imperative that leaders understand how they see

through their own lens and how it ultimately affects their direct and indirect subordinates.

School administrators should not only know and understand about personality traits and

leadership style, but also how they interact and influence one another. Widiger & Trull (1997)

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

reported that knowing one’s own personality traits allows the leader to better understanding their

follower’s personality traits and underlying motivations. Silverhorne (1999) provided support for

personality traits as a predictor of leader effectiveness and for the usage of personality trait

measures to predict potentially effective leaders. Research regarding an understanding of the

connection between leadership style and personality traits is crucial. Andersen (2006) reported

that understanding personality type and having the ability to identify particular personality traits

that are indicative of potential leaders can ultimately create coaching possibilities to cultivate

talent. Exploring this pivotal relationship between leadership style and personality traits may

provide a fresh perspective on how we can improve the educational environment for students,

parents and teachers.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the study is to identify what relationships, if any, exists between the

magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among school

administrators. In addition, the study aims to examine what differences, if any, exist among the

magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles between elementary,

middle and high school educational administrators. The study was quantitative in nature and, as

it did not involve an intervention, examined variables not manipulated by the researcher but

rather only measured by the through cross-sectional data collection. Research data collected from

this study attempted to provide evidence regarding the importance of educational leaders’

awareness of their personality traits and how their personality traits relate to their leadership style

and/or how their professional leadership style relates to their personality traits. By doing so,

leaders may be able to identify biases and inborn personal tendencies and can strive to become a

more well-rounded leader.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Research Questions

1. What relationships, if any, exist between the magnitude of five personality traits and

the degree of three leadership styles among school administrators?

2. What differences, if any, exist among the magnitude of five personality traits and the

degree of three leadership styles between elementary, middle and high school

administrators?

Hypotheses

Ha1. It is hypothesized that non-zero relationships exist between the magnitude of five

personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among school administrators.

Ho1. It is hypothesized that no relationships exist between the magnitude of five

personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among school administrators.

Ha2. It is hypothesized that differences exist among the magnitude of five personality

traits and the degree of three leadership styles between elementary, middle and high

school administrators.

Ho2. It is hypothesized that no differences exist among the magnitude of five personality

traits and the degree of three leadership styles between elementary, middle and high

school administrators.

Importance of the Study

It is hoped that the results collected from the study accurately portrays personality traits

and leadership style as well as how they interact within the educational setting. Furthermore, the

information gathered from this study contributes to the body of knowledge regarding educational

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

administrators and how their personality traits influence decision-making and problem solving.

Additionally, the data gathered from this study also adds to the information available regarding

varying leadership styles of educational leaders and how those particular styles affect school

leadership.

Using information regarding personality traits, educational leaders may be better at

understanding their personal preferences in the workplace and how it impacts their leadership

style. Conjointly, educational leaders are able to influence their followers through various

mechanisms and influence the success of the school site. This influence may be positive,

negative or no influence at all depending on the administrators’ leadership style. Fundamentally,

these two concepts may interact with one another in regards to overall leadership capabilities. It

is the hope of the researcher that the study contributed to the information available to educational

leaders regarding their leadership style in relation to their personality traits. In addition, it is the

aim of the researcher that any information gathered in the study may also be employed to

implement professional development opportunities for school administrators.

Operational Definitions

Leadership Style: A leader’s style of providing direction and motivating followers. A leader is

seen by their subordinates as a role-model. Leadership includes patterns of actions performed by

a leader which inspires and creates enthusiasm in their followers (Davis & Newstrom, 1993). In

this study, leadership style was measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X

– Self), a research tool consisting of forty-five items used to evaluate three different leadership

styles: transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

leadership/non-leadership style. It allows individuals to measure how they are perceived or how

they perceive themselves with regards to specific leadership behaviors.

Personality Traits: Psychological classification of different types of individuals including a

collection of traits occurring consistently together thus creating a pattern (Fouad et al., 2010). In

this study, personality was measured by the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), a research

tool consisting of ten items used to evaluate five different personality trait domains: extraversion

personality trait, agreeableness personality trait, conscientiousness personality trait, neuroticism

personality trait, and the openness to experience personality trait. It allows individuals to

measure how they perceive their own personality traits.

Key Terms

Educational Leadership: Individual responsible for guiding teachers, students and parents toward

achieving common educational goals (Marzano, Waters & McNulty, 2005).

Transformational Leadership Style: Leaders influence followers by getting them to transcend for

the good of the group above their own self interests. (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

Charismatic Leader: Highly esteemed, followers see them as a role model and strive to emulate

the leader and align around a common purpose (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

Inspirational Leader: Provides optimism but followers may not necessarily seek to imitate

inspirational leaders (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

Intellectually Stimulating Leader: Leader encourages subordinates to question their assumptions

and look at things from a unique perspective (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Individually Considerate Leader: Leaders work closely with their followers, anticipating their

individual needs and uplifting them emotionally (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

Transactional Leadership Style: Exchange based leadership process focused on setting

objectives, the fulfillment of obligations and monitoring outcomes (Antonakis, Avolio &

Sivasubramaniam, 2003).

Management by Exception – Passive Leader: Leader only intervenes after non-compliance has

occurred. Only when mistakes have transpired do they become involved (Antonakis et al, 2003).

Management by Exception – Active Leader: Leader is actively vigilant in regards to follower

meeting standards (Antonakis et al., 2003).

Contingent Reward Leader: Leader is focused on task completion and providing subordinates

with rewards contingent on the fulfillment of the obligation (Antonakis et al., 2003).

Laissez-Faire Leadership/Non-Leadership: Represents the absence of leadership in which the

leader avoids responsibility and fails to make decisions (Antonakis et al., 2003).

Extroversion Personality Trait: Trait domain represents the tendency to be active and outgoing.

(Judge & Bono, 2000a).

Agreeableness Personality Trait: Trait domain represents the tendency to be trustworthy and

kind to others (Judge & Bono, 2000a).

Conscientiousness Personality Trait: Trait domain represents the tendency to be dependable and

organized (Judge & Bono, 2000a).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Openness to Experience Personality trait: Trait domain represents the tendency to be perceptive

and imaginative. (Judge & Bono, 2000a).

Neuroticism Personality Trait: Trait domain represents the tendency to be moody and anxious

(Judge & Bono, 2000a).

Theoretical Frameworks

Bass’ transformational leadership theory. Burns’ book Leadership (1978), advanced a

model of leadership style and behaviors. Bernard Bass (1985) extended the work of Burns by

detailing specific characteristics of a transformational style leader and a transactional style

leader. Based on the initial leadership work by Burns, Bass and his team depict a leadership style

model where defining characteristics are attributed to particular leadership styles and the extent

to which the leader influences their followers (Bass, 1985). Bass later developed a measurement

tool called the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X - Self) to measure the

transformational leadership style, the transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style domains (Bass, 1990).

The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) has been used in various

developmental studies (e.g. Bass, 1985; see also Howell & Avolio, 1993; Sosik, Avolio & Kahai,

1997) in varying contexts, leading to its status as a trusted method of data collection in

leadership style studies (Brown et al., 2008). For the purposes of this research study, Bass’

Transformational Leadership Theory and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X -

Self) is explored in Chapter II to establish the relevance of the educational leaders’ preferred

leadership style in terms of leading their followers.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Big five personality theory/Jung’s theory of personality. Jung’s (1971a) description of

personality archetypes supposes that each person is born with an innate set of traits that influence

how they participate in the world around them. Jung’s theory comprised of three distinct

dimensions of personality – extraversion/introversion, thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition – and

these dimensions are expressed through their judgments, interests, values, perceptions and

motivations (Jung, 1971b). These categorized mental functions can be developed but individuals

typically favor their natural “lead” function because that is how they are most comfortable

interacting with the world (Brown et al., 2008). Jung goes on to express that these mental

functions or personality tendencies are unlearned and emerge as stronger preferences over others

personality traits (Clark & Riley, 2001).

Jung’s theories influenced the Big Five Personality Trait Theory in terms of describing

definable personality traits that can be predicted and observed (Judge & Bono, 2001). The Big

Five Personality Trait Theory is defined as five clearly defined dimensions of personality traits

commonly found within the general population (Gosling, Rentfrow & Swann, 2003). Tupes and

Christal (1961) are given credit for extending the work of Carl Jung and uncovering the Big Five

Personality Trait Theory but strong evidence in various arenas have long speculated the

prevalence of defined personality traits (Judge & LePine, 2007). Jung’s work on personality

traits and the Big Five Personality Trait Theory is discussed in Chapter II. Additionally, the Ten

Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) used to measure personality traits is discussed in Chapter III.

Limitations

The school sample was taken solely from California thus limiting the diversity of the data

compiled. To mitigate this limitation, the researcher selected various unified school districts from

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

California in order to represent a diverse sample. Secondly, educational leaders may have

already taken the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) as well as the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self), which may bias response. To mitigate this limitation, the

researcher indicated in the instructions to disregard past findings in the best of their ability.

Unified school districts include kindergarten through twelfth grade and are combined and

operated under the same district jurisdiction. Utilizing data from unified school district

administrators excluded data from independent districts or districts that are smaller in size. This

limitation was mitigated through selecting larger school districts from an assortment of locations

in California. (Table 1).

Table 1

California Unified School Districts

Approximate Number of
# California Unified School Districts
School Administrators
1 Capistrano Unified School District 65
2 Compton Unified School District 38
3 Chino Unified School District 30
4 Chino Valley Unified School District 37
5 Clovis Unified School District 47
6 Corona Unified School District 53
7 Desert Sands Unified School District 34
8 Elk Grove Unified School District 65
9 Fairfield Unified School District 30
10 Folsom-Cordova Unified School District 33
11 Fontana Unified School District 43
12 Freemont Unified School District 43
13 Fresno Unified School District 107
14 Garden Grove Unified School District 68
15 Glendale Unified School District 33
(continued)

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Approximate Number of
# California Unified School Districts
School Administrators
17 Hayward Unified School District 35
18 Hesperia Unified School District 31
19 Irvine Unified School District 35
20 Lodi Unified School District 53
21 Long Beach Unified School District 94
22 Los Angeles Unified School District 998
23 Montebello Unified School District 31
24 Mt. Diablo Unified School District 55
25 Napa Valley Unified School District 34
26 Newport Mesa Unified School District 31
27 Oakland Unified School District 135
28 Orange Unified School District 42
29 Pajaro Valley Unified School District 33
30 Palm Springs Unified School District 33
31 Pasadena Unified School District 33
32 Placenta-Yorba Linda Unified School District 34
33 Pomona Unified School District 44
34 Poway Unified School District 37
35 Rialto Unified School District 30
36 Riverside Unified School District 51
37 Sacramento City Unified School District 89
38 Saddleback Unified School District 34
39 San Bernardino Unified School District 85
40 San Diego Unified School District 232
41 San Francisco Unified School District 120
42 San Jose Unified School District 54
43 San Juan Unified School District 76
44 San Ramon Valley Unified School District 35
45 Santa Ana Unified School District 61
46 Stockton Unified School District 66
47 Temecula Valley Unified School District 33
48 Torrance Unified School District 31
(continued)

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Approximate Number of
# California Unified School Districts
School Administrators
50 Vallejo City Unified School District 26
51 Visalia Unified School District 38
52 West Contra Costa Unified School District 61
53 Two Rivers Unified School District 55
54 Ventura Unified School District 35

Delimitations

There are various recognized delimitations to the research design. First, the sample

consisted of unified school districts within California therefore generalization in varying contexts

may be somewhat problematic. By limiting the sample size to school administrators who work

with kindergarten through twelfth grade school districts, thus eliminating pre-kindergarten and

transitional kindergarten, the sample was not wholly representative of the California state school

system. However, unified school districts chosen in the sample are similar in demographics and

population size, which assists in analyzing data obtained. Another delimitation to the study

appears to be the timeframe of the study. Administration of the Ten Item Personality Inventory

(TIPI) and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X - Self) occurred during the

beginning of the school year when school administrators had recently returned from summer

vacation in the hope to gain favorable response rates.

Assumptions

It is assumed that the Big Five Personality Trait Theory is an appropriate framework for

understanding school administrators’ particular personality traits and that the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) is an appropriate measure for those traits. Similarly, it is assumed

that Transformational Leadership Theory is an appropriate framework for understanding school

administrators’ leadership style and that the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X -

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Self) is an appropriate measure for those styles. Additionally, it shall be assumed that all

participants had the intention of being honest in their response on the questionnaires. In order to

mitigate these assumptions, the researcher reinforced to the participants prior to starting the study

that responses were confidential. With regard to instrument validity and reliability, this evidence

is provided in Chapter III.

Organization of the Study

The quantitative research study is detailed in five chapters. Chapter one illustrates the

relevance of the study regarding administrator personality traits and leadership style as well as

the value of studying educational administrators’ leadership style and personality traits, research

study questions, theoretical framework, study limitations and delimitations.

Chapter two introduces a historical background of personality traits and leadership style

in terms of educational leadership. In addition, a summary of the literature available on the topic

of personality traits as well as literature regarding leadership style is explored.

Chapter three includes a description of the study participant selection process, method for

collecting data from participants, instruments utilized for data acquisition and the approaches to

data analysis.

Chapter four presents the overall findings from the study, summarizes the key findings

from the information collected and how the data informs research questions in the study.

Chapter five presents a discussion regarding the key data gathered from the study and

their relationship to prior empirical studies. Future recommendations for study is also reviewed.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Introduction

This quantitative research study attempts to identify what relationship, if any, exists

between the magnitude of school administrator’s personality traits and the degree of their

professional leadership style. In addition, this study seeks to uncover the differences that exist, if

any, between personality traits and professional leadership style of elementary school, middle

school, and high school administrators working within the kindergarten through twelfth grade

educational setting. This literature review begins with a theoretical framework illustrating

personality traits and leadership styles. Additionally, literature will be presented describing the

historical background of leadership style, personality traits and school administration.

In regards to the Transformational Leadership Theory, it began with the research of

James MacGregor Burns (1978) who first introduced the concepts of the transactional leadership

style as well as the transformational leadership style but believed that leaders could only fall into

one category of leadership style or the other. Bass (1985) extended Burns’ work in leadership

studies and described particular dimensions of leadership styles labeled as the transformational

leadership style, transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

style. Bass (1985) declared that leaders can encapsulate more than one leadership style and may

have a degree of each type of style within their repertoire. Bass and Avolio (1996) are credited

with ultimately dividing the three leadership/non-leadership style domains into nine sub-scales

that represents varying levels of leadership behavior within the Transformational Leadership

Theory.

In terms of the Big Five Personality Trait Theory, Tupes and Christal (1961) uncovered

recurrent personality traits by examining research databases and uncovering patterns in the data.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Additionally, research conducted by Goldberg (1990) extended the findings that personality traits

fall into five defined categories of descriptors that people use to describe themselves and thus

ultimately refined the list into a personality trait inventory within the five personality trait

domains. Judge and Bono (2000b) were the first researchers to link the transformational

leadership style to the Big Five Personality Trait Theory.

Historical Background

Leadership style. Leadership refers to the ability to influence followers and motivate

them to provide the greatest level of commitment using the least amount of coercion (Bass,

1999). Additionally, leadership also involves adjusting to challenges and providing followers

with direction and inspiration in times of transition (Kotter, 1999). In the past, attention has been

placed primarily on leadership styles that emphasizes cost management and quantity of output

from followers. Early work in the field of leadership illustrates how an active leadership style is

more effective in producing results within an organization than a passive leadership role

(Atwater, Dionne, Camobreco, Avolio & Lau, 1998). The focus has now shifted towards the

influence of specific characteristics that ultimately defines an effective leader as measured by

their followers’ willingness to follow the leader (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991). Transformational

leaders motivate their followers and produce tangible results within an organization (Bass &

Aolio, 1996). Professional development and coaching given to leaders regarding the

characteristics of a transformational leader can develop talent and increase effective leadership

practices (Antonakis et al., 2003).

Over the past sixty years the marketplace has moved away from an industrial revolution

type model of leadership in which workers are treated like machines that have no involvement in

the decisions within the organization. Currently, the workplace has moved towards a leadership

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

model where employees are encouraged to be creative and are empowered to participate

(Atwater et al., 1998). Charismatic or transformational leadership has become the focus of

management studies in the past few decades and dominates the current leadership literature

(Tejeda, Scandura & Pillai, 2001). A transformational or a charismatic leader behaves as a role

model to subordinates and exemplifies desirable behaviors (Nielsen, Yarker, Brenner, Randall &

Borg, 2008). Personal attention is given to the followers’ needs and leaders provide

individualized coaching (Bass, 1999). Followers of a transformational leader are encouraged to

have autonomy and empowered to make decisions in a safe environment (Evans & Johnson,

1990).

Leadership practices drive the decisions of a management team so leadership style

determines the fate of an organization (Walumbwa, Lawler & Avolio, 2007). The current focus

in leadership studies is a more team-oriented approach and less hierarchical in nature (Bass,

1999). Along with this type of cohesive leadership focus, a group mentality emerges in which the

team members are invested personally in the success of the organization and have a drive to

work with one another for the common good (Bass, 1999). Typically, under a transformational

leader, there is a shared mission and vision statement and all stakeholders have an active voice in

the community (Bass, 1999).

Personality traits. Personality traits are described as a combination of factors which

shape the patterns and characteristics that dictates our behavior (Heller, Ferris, Brown & Watson,

2009). Most individuals have dominant personality preferences and those behaviors can be

predicted by personality trait indicators (Myers-Briggs & McCaulley, 1985). Personality traits

comprise our personality by creating distinctive life patterns and thought process which dictate

our feelings about experiences (Heller, Judge, & Watson, 2002). Various factors of personality

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

come together to make up the pieces of who we are as a person and how we interact with the

world (Taher, Chen & Yao, 2011). It is thought that temperament in infancy and/or early

childhood is linked to the formation of the adult personality and that observable temperamental

traits can be witnesses throughout a person’s lifespan (Kornor & Nordvik, 2004). Temperament

is also thought to be the initial basis for orientation with the outside world and that personality is

shaped as the individual adapts to their particular surroundings (Rothbart, Ahadi & Evans, 2000).

McCrae and Costa (1987) determined that the trait structure of personality is universal in

nature. Personality traits are essentially myriad of motivators for making decisions based on

personal preferences (Zillig, Hemenover & Dienstbier, 2002). Personality traits have been

defined as habitual patterns of predictable behavior (Edmonds, 1995). Personality traits influence

decision-making and how we interact with the world (Sprague, 1997). Personality archetypes can

illustrate unlearned traits and tendencies that then influence how individuals perceive their

surroundings (Brown et al., 2008).

Personality traits and leadership style in educational administration. Personality

traits can directly influence how we make decisions and how we perceive the world around us

(Myers-Briggs and McCaully, 1985). Educational administrators can enhance their ability to lead

effectively when they understand how leadership style and personality traits impact behavior and

decision-making (Hautula, 2005). Educational leaders are required to create an educational

environment that is supportive to individual strengths, but also challenge personal preference to

provide growth opportunities (Bradley & Hebert, 1997). School administrators must collaborate

with numerous individuals on a daily basis and it is beneficial if they can recognize various

personality traits and leadership styles and how they influence the educational environment.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Information regarding the transformational leadership style began to gain attention and

emerge in educational leadership literature in the 1980’s in response to lackluster school

performance and the need for school reorganization (Felsenthal, 1982). The Transformational

Leadership Theory emphasizes empowerment and encourages teachers to collaborate with the

administration on school policies and educational goals. Educational administrators now

regularly provide opportunities for teachers and school employees to contribute and feel

confident that their role on campus is valued (Kruger, Witziers & Sleegers, 2007). The

transformational leadership style has been highlighted as one of the main components improving

school success (Hallinger & Heck, 1999).

Work teams are affected by each person’s particular personality traits and how they

impact interaction with one another (Tuettemann, 1991). An effective educational leader may

find it helpful to have knowledge about group dynamics and personality traits in order to

increase motivation, increase task completion, and create innovative solutions to problems

(Furnham, 2008). Personality traits can affect decision-making and how an individual

approaches problem solving (McGrath, 1984). Educational leaders who put together the

appropriate people for a team who may be the most productive together will ultimately create

increased collaboration among educators (Hurron, 2006). Information about personality traits

could be crucial in understanding individual strengths and weaknesses and how a group will

work best altogether as a team (Bradley & Hebert, 1997).

Educational leaders have been described as having one of the most difficult management

positions in America (Graham & Messner, 1998). Certain personality traits draw people to

particular fields of employment so it would be beneficial to better understand the personalities

traits of successful educational leaders (Hautala, 2005). Teachers want to feel a sense of purpose

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

and a strong belief that their efforts will provide a better future for their students and a supportive

administrator can assist in that goal (Peterson & Deal, 1998). School administrators are expected

to provide leadership and support within the educational setting (Hautala, 2005). Gordon and

Patterson (2006) stated that school administrators should strive to respect their teachers, listen to

their community partners, build a trustable environment, and provide relevant professional

development.

Employee job satisfaction has been linked to strong leadership skills and a supportive

environment (Spear, Gould & Lee, 2000). According to McKee (1991) administrator leadership

style makes a substantial impact on faculty job satisfaction and overall morale. In several

academic papers, an administrator’s motivation to excel was dependent upon their achievements,

recognition, and autonomy (Brown et al., 2008). Teachers tend to prefer school administrators

who provide individualized attention and encourage them to look at problems differently

(Hargreaves, 1994). An understanding of personality traits and leadership style may assist school

leaders in providing an optimal environment for all educational stakeholders.

Theoretical Framework

Bass’ transformational leadership theory. One commonly accepted definition of

leadership is that it is “interpersonal influence, exercised in a situation, and directed, through the

communication process, toward the attainment of a specified goal or goals” (Tannenbaum,

Weschler & Massarik, 1961, p. 24). An effective leader is an individual who can influence

followers and gets subordinates to perform beyond their own expectations (Arvey, Rotundo,

Johnson, Zhang and McGue, 2006). Followers form strong emotional ties to leaders and as a

consequence followers identify with the characteristics and behaviors of the leader (Hulpia &

Devos, 2009). This connection allows for a greater importance to be placed on the follower’s

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

motivations to follow and improve their overall work performance (Herzberg, 1959). Leaders are

granted the responsibility of identifying the needs of their followers and to create a collective

vision for the organization (Bycio, 1995). Such role models lead their subordinates and are

typically seen to their followers as charismatic and inspirational (Zopiatis & Constanti, 2009).

One commonly accepted theory of leadership is called the “Transformational Leadership

Theory” and was presented by Avolio, Bass and Jung (1995) and highlights the three types of

leadership style domains: transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style and

laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (Antonakis et al., 2003). Bass (1985) applied the

transformational leadership and transactional leadership concepts to organizations that were

originally intended to observe political leadership and identify patterns. Bass (1985) contended

that leadership is composed of three domains or categories of leadership style including

transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

(Tejeda et al., 2001). Bass (1985) and his team ultimately created the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) to identify the transformational leadership style, the

transactional leadership style and laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style traits. According

to Avolio (1999), the Transformational Leadership Theory was not intended to include all

possible representations of leadership but instead focus on specific constructs observed in

behaviors and leadership styles.

The development of the Transformational Leadership Theory initially began with the

work of James MacGregor Burns (1978) who first introduced the concepts of transformational

leadership and transactional leadership while observing political leaders and their particular

leadership traits (Seltzer & Bass, 1990). Burns believed that leaders were either transformational

or transactional and that they were mutually exclusive leadership styles (Nielsen et al., 2008).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Bernard Bass (1985) extended the work of Burns and believed that a leader could display

varying leadership styles (Felfe & Schyns, 2006). Bass and Avolio (1996) ultimately divided the

three leadership styles into the transformational leadership style, the transactional leadership

style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style with nine sub-scales to describe

varying leadership behaviors (Cerit, 2009).

Bass (1985) indicated that the Transformational Leadership Theory is based on what

motivates people but also on the followers need for belonging and self-realization. Followers

form an emotional attachment to the transformational leader and this ultimately inspires

subordinates to excel past their own expectations (Nash & Bangert, 2014). Effective leaders aim

to anticipate the needs of their subordinates and help them develop their skills to a higher level

(Tannenbaum et al, 1961). Academic writing indicates that certain personality traits are related to

transformational leadership and overall leader effectiveness (Bono & Judge, 2004).

A transformational leader is an individual who has the skill to influence and motivate

others. They are able to have major influence on the environment around them and shape the

attitudes of those that they lead (Smith & Bell, 2011). A transformational leader inspires

followers by exhibiting optimism, an excitement about goals, a commitment to mentor followers

and a belief in a future vision (Smith & Bell, 2011). A transformational leader is proactive and

assists followers to achieve extraordinary goals (Tejeda et al., 2001). A transformation leader

provides an opportunity for change to occur in both people and organizations (Luthans, 1994).

Followers develop a strong sense of purpose and the leader provides a vision that allows the team

to see a bigger picture (Avolio et al, 1995). Transformational leadership and a collective vision is

essential to school improvement (Bass, 2000). Not surprisingly, due to egocentric bias, leaders

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

tend to rate themselves higher as a perceived transformational leader then their follower’s ratings

(Atwater et al., 1998).

In contrast, a transactional leader focuses on benchmark measures and does not easily

stray from developed operating systems and procedures that are already in place. The

organization is seen as a machine to the transactional leader instead of an evolving organism.

(Smith & Bell, 2011). Transactional leaders do not easily adapt to change and may lead through

contingent rewards that are given if follower’s reach agreed upon levels of performance.

Transactional leaders emphasize accountability and will intervene only if subordinates are not

meeting the organizations standards for performance (Smith & Bell, 2011). Transactional leaders

typically set objectives and then monitor and control outcomes (Hoy & Miskel, 1996).

Additionally, transactional leadership is based on controlling followers and is essentially an

exchange arrangement based on contractual obligation using rewards and punishments to gain

compliance (Antonakis et al., 2003; Bass & Avolio, 1996).

A laissez-faire leader/non-leader is an individual that avoids leadership and is absent

when needed (Bass & Avolio, 1996). An overall lack of leadership is typically observed by an

avoidance of decision making and evading responsibility (Bycio, 1995). Laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership is considered the most ineffective form of leadership (Weinberger,

2009). Decisions are delayed, feedback is non-existent and there is no effort to motivate

subordinates (Weinberger, 2009).

Laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership is essentially a style of management and actually

appears to be the antithesis of leadership and is more reactionary then proactive (Tejeda et al.,

2001). Personality characteristics such as procrastination, conflict avoidance and general lack of

involvement are commonly witnessed (Bass, 1999). Additionally, laissez-faire leaders/non-

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

leaders abdicate making decisions and will not take responsibility or act in a role of authority

(Bass, 1999; Antonakis et al., 2003).

Big five personality traits/Jung’s theory of personality. Gordon Allport and Henry S.

Odbert’s (1936) are credited with the development of the Big Five Personality Trait Theory

when they began searching for words associated with personality in the English dictionary. They

discovered 18,000 terms and were able to distribute those words into various personality

categories, yielding subsets of 4,500 personality terms (Widiger & Trull, 1997). Allport and

Odbert provided the framework for Raymond Cattell (1945) to reduce the number of personality

terms down to 171 words by eliminating synonyms (MacDonald, 1995). Next, Ernest Tupes and

Raymond Christal (1961) identified five reoccurring factors within the traits observed by Cattell

by analyzing data accessed in military databases (Judge & Bono, 2000a), namely (a) surgency,

(b) agreeableness, (c) dependability, (d) emotional stability, and (e) culture. Carl Jung’s Theory

of Personality describes dimensions of personality traits that are innate and distinctive (Jung,

1971a). Personality trait investigation resumed when Lewis Goldberg (1990) rediscovered the

Big Five personality traits and confirmed the findings of Tupes and Christal (1961), thus

continuing interest in the Big Five Personality Trait Theory (Costa & McCrae, 1992).

Personality traits have been described as stable dimensions of personality characteristics

that define a person (Bass, 1990). The Big Five personality traits emerged as the categorization

of personality temperaments and has gained acceptance as a highly accepted personality trait

inventory among researchers (Drummond & Stoddard, 1992; Tobacyk, Livingston & Robbins,

2008). The Big Five personality traits have the capability to simplify behavior into habitual,

predictable patterns (Zillig et al., 2002). Personality traits are believed to impact behaviors,

beliefs and attitudes (Felfe & Schyns, 2006). The Big Five personality trait model uses a

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

framework to observe personality traits that integrates a hierarchical model representing five

broad personality domains (Gosling et al., 2003). Each domain has its own unique set of

attributes associated with personality traits thus providing a comprehensive description of

personality (Goldberg, 1993). The Big Five personality trait categories include: extraversion

personality trait, openness to experience personality trait conscientiousness personality trait,

neuroticism personality trait and the agreeableness personality trait (Lounsbury, 2003).

Extraversion is defined as a person’s degree of sociability (Berr, Church & Waclawaski,

2000). Extrovert personality traits include optimism and upbeat tendencies (Buss, 1989). Such

individuals tend to emerge as group leaders and exhibit behaviors that are congruent with

transformational leadership (Sundstrom, DeMeuse & Futrell, 1990). Extroverts express positive

emotions towards others and are assertive in nature (Watson & Clark, 1997). Bono and Judge

(2004) indicated the extraversion personality trait as the most consistent correlate of

transformational leadership. An extraverted leader is associated with excellent articulation and a

desire to take a leadership role within a group (Shelton, 1996). Additionally, leaders who are

extraverted are believed to be seeking excitement and desire attention in social situations

(Butcher & Rouse, 1996). Bono and Judge (2004) report that an extraverted leader can generate

confidence and enthusiasm from their followers.

Extroverted leaders can also be seen as brash and aggressive by their followers and they

may have short-lived enthusiasm for an idea or project (Hogan, Curphy & Hogan, 1994).

Leaders who are extraverted enjoy being the center of attention and can sometimes alienate

followers by having an unclear vision or path (Blasé, Dedrick & Strathe, 1986). Extraverts tend

to dominate social situations and take a leadership role within group settings (Kettelhut, 1993).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Extroverted leaders are extremely expressive people who can inspire and persuade others with

their words (Avoilo, 1999).

Reverse extroverted individuals are described as introverts and have personality traits that

are perceived by others as reserved and quiet (Cavazotte, Moreno & Hickman, 2012). Those who

score low in the extroversion personality trait domain tend to emerge as low-key leaders that lack

the social exuberance of extroverted leaders (Kornor & Nordvik, 2004). An introverted leader is

associated with behaviors that are deliberate and sometimes indifferent (Tobacyk et al., 2008).

Additionally, leaders who are introverted are believed to seek alone time and need less social

stimulation compared to extroverted leaders (Zillig et al., 2002).

Introverted leaders can be seen as having low activity levels compared to extroverted

leaders (Widiger & Trull, 1997). Leaders with introverted personality traits can also be seen as

apathetic individuals (Murray, 1990). Introverts tend to have fewer numbers of friends compared

to extroverts (Paunonen & Ashton, 2001). Introverted leaders may have little to say in social

situations, and tend to describe themselves as introspective (Lounsbury, 2003).

Agreeableness is defined as a person’s level of trust for others and their level of

friendliness (Berr et al., 2000). The agreeableness personality trait invokes the notion of

trustworthiness and modesty (Herzberg & Brahler, 2006). According to Wiggins (1996), one

important trait of a leader with the agreeableness personality trait is altruism and actively

showing followers that they have their best interests at heart. Leaders with the agreeableness

personality trait encourage group cooperation and the success of fellow team members (Hurtz &

Donovan, 2000). Individuals who are agreeable are friendly and promote a neutral work

environment (Mayer, Salovey & Caruso, 2008). Agreeable leaders have a legitimate concern for

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

their followers and are attentive to their basic needs in addition to job satisfaction and their need

for professional development (Hurron, 2006). Additionally, leaders exhibiting agreeableness

personality traits are seen as role models because of their respectful and sympathetic nature

(Bass, 1985).

Individuals who exhibit the agreeableness personality trait tend avoid interpersonal

conflict and want to cooperate with others (Graziano, Jensen-Campbell & Hain, 1996). Leaders

with the agreeableness personality trait are not typically creative decision makers and prefer

things done in a traditional manner (Zhang & Huang, 2001). Agreeable leaders are non-

confrontational and are more likely to give favorable evaluations of their follower’s work

performance than a non-agreeable leader (Judge, Piccolo & Kosalka, 2009). Additionally, the

agreeable leaders’ power may weaken due to the lack of emotional distance between

subordinates and an agreeable leader (Harvey, 1994).

Reversed agreeableness personality traits include detachment, suspicion and

manipulation (Graziano et al., 1996). Such individuals tend to emerge as unfriendly leaders who

are skeptical of others and question motivations for behavior (Barrick & Mount, 1991). A

detached leader may be seen as insincere and possess arrogant personality traits (Block, 1995).

Additionally, leaders who are detached and are not agreeable are believed to be less concerned

with their followers’ well being and seen to have less empathy compared to agreeable leaders

(Crede, Harms, Niehorster & Gaye-Valentine, 2012).

Detached leaders can be perceived as stubborn and egotistical to followers (Ehrhart et al.,

2009). Leaders who score low in the agreeableness personality trait domain can be less likely to

help others and are more likely to have aggressive thoughts (Jugde & LePine, 2007). Detached

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

leaders tend to be more competitive and less cooperative with others than their agreeable leader

counterpart (Goldberg, 1993). Less agreeable leaders often have little concern for others and can

be critical and quarrelsome (Lowe, 2011).

Conscientiousness is defined as a person’s degree of persistence and commitment (Berr et

al., 2000). The conscientious personality trait includes a sense of direction and a tendency to be

detail oriented (Digman, 1990). Conscientious individuals can be seen as efficient and deliberate

when making decisions (Zhang & Huang, 2001). Conscientious leaders are goal focused and

polite in social situations (John, Donahue & Kentle, 1991). Additionally, people who exhibit the

conscientious personality trait have a tendency to be responsible and strong willed (Zhang &

Huang, 2001).

Conscientious leaders can be cautious and less willing to take risks which may delay

making decisions (Hogan et al., 1994). Conscientious leaders tend to be alarmed by changes in

the organization and desire regimented procedures (Peterson & Deal, 1998). Individuals who are

conscientious may be seen as inflexible and overly critical of their follower’s performance and

are unlikely to be seen as a charismatic leader (Locke, 1969). Additionally, conscientious leaders

focus on one thing at a time and require all available information in order to make a decision

(Zhang & Huang, 2001).

Reverse conscientiousness personality traits include disorganization and procrastination

(Zhang & Huang, 2001). Leaders who score low in the conscientiousness personality trait

domain are typically associated with irresponsibility and disorderly behavior (Hogan et al.,

1994). Such individuals tend to emerge as careless, indulgent and mischievous and can be seen

as imbalanced (Tobacyk et al., 2008). An easy-going leader is associated with unreliable

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

leadership traits and can be regarded as ignorant (Crede et al., 2012). Additionally, careless/easy-

going leaders who score low in the conscientiousness personality trait domain are considered to

be disobedient and can be observed disregarding policies and/or people (Zhang & Huang, 2001).

Easy-going leaders can be seen as extravagant and have a tendency to be messy (Saucier,

1994). Leaders who score low in the conscientiousness personality trait domain can create

disagreements within the organization and among followers (Sharp, 1987). Easy-going leaders

prefer not to follow a schedule and can develop discord among followers (Paunonen & Ashton,

2001).

Openness to experience is defined as a person’s degree of openness to new ideas (Berr et

al., 2000). Individuals with the willingness to be open to experience typically exhibit an

intellectual curiosity and have a tendency to be creative and insightful (McCrae & John, 1992).

Individuals scoring high on the openness to experience personality trait tends to be imaginative

and show patterns of divergent thinking (McCrae, Kurtz, Yamagata & Terracciano, 2011).

Leaders that are open to experience express positive behaviors such as the ability to cope with

change within the organization and the ability to visualize transformation for the organization

(Holland, 1973). By actively being open to experience, leaders question assumptions and

encourage doing things a new way within the organization (Bass, 1999).

Leaders that are open to experience tend to reject conventional organizational structures

(McCrae et al., 2011). Openness to experience can often lend itself to flights of fancy and create

distractions when focusing only on the latest idea (McCrae and John, 1992). Leaders who are

open to experience tend to avoid the completion of simple tasks while also evading important

issues due to the inability make consistent decisions (Judge et al., 2009; Zhang & Huang, 2001).

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Additionally, followers may become frustrated with the level of ambiguity and not be able to

trust in the leader (Avolio, 1999). The leader may ultimately create a stressful work environment

within the organization due to the lack of structure (Brown-Ferrigno & Muth, 2004).

Reverse openness to experience individuals have personality traits that are seen as

traditional and more conventional than leaders who are open to experience (Scollon & Diener,

2006). Those who score low in the openness to experience personality trait domain emerge as

leaders who are more down to earth and can be seen as sensible to their followers (Furnham,

2008). A pragmatic leader is associated with traits such as practicality and a no-nonsense attitude

(Avolio, 1999). Additionally, leaders who are not open to new experiences are believed to seek

more concrete measurements and are factually driven leaders (Judge et al., 2009).

Pragmatic leaders can be seen as insensitive and apathetic individuals to their followers

(Bass, 1999). Pragmatic leaders can also be seen to their followers as uncreative, inactive and

desiring a sense of realism (Block, 1995). Leaders who are closed off to new experiences tend to

prefer familiar routines and typically have a narrow range of interests compared to leaders who

are open to new experiences (Feist & Feist, 2002). Individuals who are seen as pragmatic are

straightforward and obvious and avoids ambiguity (Burke & McKeen, 1994).

Neuroticism is defined as a person’s level of stress tolerance or their level of

psychological adjustment (Berr et al., 2000). The neurotic personality trait is exhibited by

disturbed behaviors and thoughts that typically accompanied by emotional stress (McCrae &

Costa, 1987). Leaders who are neurotic exhibit high levels of self-confidence and typically

symbolize success to their followers (Avolio et al., 1995). Neuroticism has also been linked to

irrational belief systems and emotional instability (Barlow, Ellard, Sauer-Kavala, Bullis & Carl,

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2014). Individuals who exhibit the neurotic personality trait tend to set high performance

standards for team members and like to challenge the status quo (Bridbord & De-Lucia-Waack,

2011). Additionally, neurotic leaders have the ability to act as a role model and encourage

subordinates to have faith in their leadership abilities (Cranston, Tromans & Reugebrink, 2004).

Neuroticism can be seen in personality traits that are defined as unpredictable and

unstable in nature (Zhang & Huang, 2001). Leaders with the neurotic personality traits easily

lose the trust of their followers due to lack of predictability and instability (Wiggins & Pincus,

1992). Neurotic leaders see the world through a negative lens and often experience negative

emotions such as anger, fear and guilt (Costa, McCrae, & Holland, 1984). Neuroticism has been

associated with low levels of self-esteem and can create an avoidance of leadership

responsibilities by a leader (Bass, 1985).

Reverse neurotic personality traits include emotional stability and security (Judge &

Bono, 2000a). Such stable leaders tend to feel less tense and better able to cope with stress

compared to a neurotic leader (Zhang & Huang, 2001). Those leaders who score low in the

neuroticism personality trait domain are often seen as confident to their followers and can think

more clearly than a neurotic leader (Gosling et al., 2003). Additionally, emotionally stable

leaders are believed to be more calm overall and can make better balanced decisions for the

organization than a neurotic leader exhibiting unstable leadership traits (Ehrhart et al., 2009).

Emotionally stable leaders can be seen by followers to have less emotionally reactivity

and are less easily upset than their neurotic counterpart. Emotionally stable leaders are free from

persistent negative feelings that may get in the way of effectively leading a team (Costa &

McCrae, 1992). Leaders who exhibit the emotional stability personality traits are distinguished as

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

friendly and respectful to their subordinates (Bruk-Lee, 2009). Emotionally stable leadership

includes personality traits that are peaceful, joyful and characterized as even-tempered

(MacDonald, 1995).

Summary

The complex structure of the education system dictates that educational administrators

understand how leadership styles and personality traits interact in order to best serve their team.

School administrators are depended upon to create teams and provide a learning environment

where strengths are utilized and groups are their most productive. The literature on personality

traits focuses on the specifics of the Big Five Personality Trait Theory and how personality traits

dictate preferences that ultimately influence our thoughts and decisions. Additionally, the

literature on leadership style focuses on the Transformational Leadership Theory and how

leadership style can impact leader effectiveness and follower performance. An understanding of

how personality traits and leadership styles impact one another can possibly assist educational

administrators in constructing an environment where all school stakeholders are successful and

satisfied.

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Chapter 3: Methodology

Introduction

The purpose of this quantitative research study was to explore the relationship between

the leadership style and personality traits among elementary, middle and high school

administrators. This chapter includes information regarding the research study design, study

participants, data collection methods and human study subjects’ considerations.

Research Design and Rationale

The quantitative research study utilized a non-experimental, relational design examining

the association between leadership style and personality traits among school administrators. In

addition, a comparative design was used to examine differences in these relationships between

elementary, middle and high school administrators. The researcher measured variables via

participant self-report rather than from variables manipulated by way of an intervention. The

researcher aimed to verify existing leadership style and personality trait theories and thus

yielding potential data from which inferences could be made concerning the educational leader

population. Additionally, the researcher used a non-experimental design to examine a

phenomenon that is naturally occurring in a non-controlled environment where no variables were

subjected to manipulation for data collection.

Three sources of data were collected via web-based surveys in this study. Data regarding

leadership style was obtained using the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self)

(Bass & Avolio, 1996). Appendix A provides the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire

(MLQ:5X – Self) measurement tool. Data regarding personality traits was collected through the

use of the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) (Gosling et al., 2003). Appendix B provides the

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) measurement tool. Lastly, the participant demographic

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

information was collected using a researcher-developed instrument and included questions

concerning participants school type, age, gender, ethnicity and education level.

Population, Sampling Procedures, Sampling, and Response Rate

This study aspired to include a diverse group of California school administrators, within

elementary, middle and high school settings. Identified through the California Department of

Education (CDE) website, a total of 997 school districts were identified within California with

341 of those districts classified as unified school districts. Inclusion criteria in the study included

school districts that are unified, thus encapsulating grades kindergarten through twelfth grades

within the district. Considering the inclusion criteria, a total of 656 California school districts

were excluded from the possible sample population. Additionally, the goal of the selection

criterion was to provide the study with a representative sample of school administrators within

California’s largest school unified districts. To accomplish the goal of diversity, 54 of the largest

unified school districts throughout the state of California was targeted in this study. The sample

was not limited by age, ethnicity, gender or religious belief. Participant age, gender, ethnicity

and level of education was measured for the sake of determining respondent representation

information. Additionally, researcher inquired about administrator school type (elementary,

middle or high school) within the demographic survey.

Initially, school administrators were accessed though social media websites such as

LinkedIn and Twitter. In addition, school administrators were contacted through professional

associations such as The Association of California School Administrators (ASCA) and were

given the informed consent letter regarding the research study. Recruits who agreed to participate

received an informed consent letter indicating the minimal risks and benefits of participation.

Included in the letter was the requirements for participation, as well as a guarantee that data

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

collected from the study would remain confidential and that only non-specific generalities would

be reported in the study’s findings.

In a population with 997 school districts within the state of California, only 341 school

districts met the necessary unified school district study criterion. In this sample of applicable

school districts, the 341 unified school districts included approximately 6,559 administrators

(California Department of Education, 2013-14). To achieve an 95% confidence level and a

confidence interval of 5% then 363 administrators were needed to participate in the study. A

maximum of three attempts were made to make contact with the administrators before they were

considered unresponsive to study proposal. The initial contact attempt was sent to possible

participants once a week, for three weeks with a total of three messages sent to applicants. An

option to opt-out of the messages was made available in each message sent to potential

participants. The survey was open to participants for a 180-day timeframe and was available to

subjects 24 hours a day. Applicants needed to complete both the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) by the

submission deadline for their data to be included in the analyses.

Human Subjects Considerations

Participants were informed in writing of the exact nature of the study and that they had

the option to opt-out of the study at any time with no negative ramifications. Participation in the

study was voluntary and every reasonable attempt to keep participant information and data

collected secure and confidential. The researcher completed an application for alteration of

documentation of informed consent due to data being collected online without the reasonable

potential for obtaining hand-signed consent.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

The researcher obtained approval from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School

Institutional Review Board (IRB) to perform the study. Appendix F provides the Pepperdine

University IRB approval notice. Due to the fact that the researcher’s own district of employment

is an elementary school district there was no researcher conflict of interests as the researcher was

not affiliated with any of the school districts included in the study. Data was collected

electronically over the Internet and a customized URL were utilized for tracking and follow-up

purposes. Data collection instruments and consent information were hosted on the researchers’

personal computer protected by a password. Copyright clearance and/or licensing was obtained

from Mindgarden, Inc. to utilize the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) for

data collection purposes due to the fact that the instruments was not developed by the researcher.

Copyright clearance and/or licensing for the Ten Item Personality Instrument (TIPI) was

unnecessary due to the fact that it has been made available free for academic use by its developer

GozLab.

Data was collected and stored in a password protected file on a password protected

computer. While anonymity could not be guaranteed due to the fact that participants received

customized URLs, the confidentiality of participants’ personally identifiable information was

maintained by coding individually identifiable information. Additionally, raw data was stripped

of email addresses and IP addresses prior to analysis. Pseudonyms were designated to school

districts, schools and towns in the reporting of the data. The researcher was the only individual

with access to study data and raw survey data will be stored in a secure location for at least seven

years before being destroyed.

Participation in this study resulted in minimal risks to survey respondents. A known

psychological risk includes fears that survey results may not remain confidential and could affect

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

their job security. The researcher mitigated risks by striving to maintain a secure data collection

location. Additionally, other possible risks of participation in the study included boredom and

loss of time. Possible benefits from participation in the study included expanding the content

knowledge in the professional development field regarding personality traits, leadership style and

how they relate to school leadership training. Study participants did not receive remuneration for

completing surveys.

Measures

The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) assesses transformational

leadership, transactional leadership and laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership behaviors (Brown

et al., 2008), and is available as a self-assessment form and an other (rater) form. The Multi-

Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) form is a 45-item self-reported questionnaire

that was used in this study to measure the frequency of one’s own leadership behaviors. The

instrument takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. The Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) allows study participants to describe their own leadership style

as they perceive it and measures the variables associated with the transformational leadership

style, transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (Zopiatis

& Constanti, 2009).

The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) contains 45-items that aim

to identify leadership behaviors represented in nine leadership categories. The Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is constructed from three leadership scales that

include nine subscales derived from the Multi-Factor Leadership Theory (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

The three leadership scales include the transformational leadership style, the transactional

leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (Bass & Avolio, 1996). The

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

nine leadership subscales include five transformational leadership style factors, three

transactional leadership style factors and one laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style factor

categorized with the three leadership scales (Antonakis et al., 2003).

Transformational leaders are characterized as individuals who inspire followers and can

facilitate optimum results within the organization (Leithwood & Jantzi, 2005). The five factors

associated with the transformational leadership style includes: (a) idealized behaviors,

concerning the ability of the leader to exhibit self-confidence, to be perceived as powerful, and to

have followers identify with them; (b) idealized attributes, concerning the leader’s ability to

represent a role model for the organization and emphasize values, beliefs and a sense of mission;

(c) inspirational motivation, concerning the leader’s ability to motivate their followers through

optimism, ambitious goals and project an achievable vision; (d) intellectual stimulation,

concerning a leader’s encouragement of challenging the status quo for problem solving and

promote creative thinking; and (e) individualized consideration, concerning the leader’s ability to

support their followers and understand their individual wants and needs (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

Transactional leadership style is characterized by the ability of the leader to get results

through an exchange with followers to gain compliance (Antonakis et al., 2003). The three

factors associated with the transactional leadership style include: (a) contingent reward,

concerning the leader’s clarification of tasks and reward given upon satisfactory task

performance; (b) management by exception - active, concerning the leader’s focusing on task

execution and correcting behaviors when deviating from standards; (c) management by

exception – passive, concerning leaders who intervenes only when serious problems arise (Judge

& Bono, 2000a).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style defines leaders who are absent and provide

no guidance to their followers. The primary factors associated with the laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style are essentially the lack of leadership or the absence of leadership

behaviors. Individuals in the position of leader with a laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

style avoid responsibilities and decisions are often delayed (Antonakis et al., 2003).

The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is an instrument designed

to evaluate an individuals’ leadership style as classified by the full range leadership model

(Avolio et al., 1995). In completing the instrument, individuals rate how they perceive

themselves using a 5-point scale with regards to leadership behaviors (Andersen, 2006). The

questionnaire contains 45-items and utilizes a five-point Likert scale. The scale points are 0 = not

at all, 1 = once in a while, 2 = sometimes, 3 = fairly often, and 4 = frequently, if not always

(Muenjohn & Armstrong, 2008). The transformational leadership style scale consists of 20 items

grouped in five subscales (individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, intellectual

stimulation, idealized attributes and idealized behaviors). The transactional leadership style scale

consists of 12 items, categorized in three subscales (contingent rewards, management by

exception – passive and management by exception – active). The final scale is that of non-

leadership style and it consists of one scale (laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership). Each

subscale utilizes four questions to assess the nine subscales (Tejeda et al., 2001).

Respondent’s raw score scales and sub-scales are compared against norm standard scores

and a profile is generated as standardized T scores (Avolio et al., 1995). Respondents are

presented with a snapshot of their leadership profile with a list of where they fall in each level of

leadership within the full range leadership model (Rowold & Heinitz, 2007). Included in the

profile are descriptions of each scale, the respondents’ raw score and instrument benchmark

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

information. Additionally, respondent data regarding general item statistics, answers to all

questions and missing items are documented in the leadership profile (Avolio et al., 1995).

Appendix C provides a description of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X –

Self) score norms for the United States.

The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is considered the strongest

validated assessment for the transformational leadership style and the transactional leadership

style and is the most widely used instrument measuring leadership behaviors (Oreg & Berson,

2011). The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is strongly supported as a

valid and reliable instrument for the measure of the behaviors associated with the

transformational leadership style (Lowe, Kroeck & Sivasbramaniam, 1996). Consistent with

prior research, Avolio and Bass (1996) conducted confirmatory factor analysis (CFA’s) to test

factorial validity of the instrument. It can be seen in the data that the nine-factor model of the

Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) was supported (Avolio & Bass, 1996).

Tejeda et al. (2001) was able to demonstrate in independent data sets the predictive validity of

the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) sub-scales with only one type of

rater to minimize variance. Additionally, convergent validity was tested by Avolio and Bass

(1996) when both the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the

Transformational Leadership Inventory (TLI) were administered and the transformational

leadership style scales of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) showed

convergent validity with the transformational leadership style scale of the Transformational

Leadership Inventory (TLI) (.22 < r < .79) which lends credibility to the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) (Avolio & Bass, 1996).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is used extensively in

leadership research. The instrument has been evidenced to be a predictor of leader performance

in a broad arena of environments (Rowold & Heinitz, 2007). A meta-analysis of the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) conducted by Lowe et al. (1996) supports the

predictive validity of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) sub-scales.

Bass and Avolio (1996) provided evidence of reliability and construct validity of the instrument

as a measure of the Multi-Factor Leadership Theory. Tejeda et al. (2001) reported internal

consistency reliabilities (Cronbach’s alpha) are typically above the adequate minimum of .70 as

suggested by Nunnally (1978). Muenjohn and Armstrong (2008) conducted a reliability check

for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and provided further evidence

that the instrument produces the data for which it was designed, reporting a Cronbach’s alpha of

.86 (Bass & Avilio,1996). Cronbach’s alphas were .90, .90, .84, .88, .85 for the transformational

leadership style scales: idealized influence (attributed), idealized influence (behavior),

individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation scales,

respectively. Cronbach’s alphas scales were .87, .74, .70 for the transactional leadership style

scales: contingent reward, management by exception (active) and management by exception

(passive) scales, respectively. Finally, Cronbach’s alpha was .78 for the laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style scale (Bass & Avolio, 1996).

Criticism of the validity of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self)

include the discriminant validity of the scales for transformation and transactional contingent

rewards leadership. Regardless, the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is a

widely used tool utilized in various studies when attempting to illustrate the behaviors of a

leader. Responding to the criticism of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X –

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Self), Antonakis et al. (2003) affirmed that the instrument can provide a basis for leadership

studies and provides evidence of the validity of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire

(MLQ:5X – Self). Despite the criticism, the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X –

Self) is considered a reliable tool for investigating leadership style and attribute instrument flaws

to cultural discrepancies and original instrument modification (Antonakis et al., 2003; Avolio et

al., 1995).

The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) was used in this study to measure the extent of

respondents’ five personality traits. The instrument was developed to evaluate the Big Five

Personality Trait Theory using descriptors from well-established Big Five personality trait

measurement instruments, and was created as a simplified version of already-existing

instruments evaluating personality traits that are lengthier (Chiorri, Bracco, Piccinno, Modafferi

& Battini, 2015). Each item in the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) consists of two item

descriptors with direct questions about personality traits. Items use a 7-point scale ranging from

7=agree strongly to 1=strongly disagree and each bipolar personality factor is summarized into

specific observable traits (Goldberg, 1992). In the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), each of

the Big Five personality trait markers are presented with one item on the continuum stated in a

positive way and one is stated in a negative way. By using the forced choice approach, it prompts

participants to select responses which associate with specific personality trait (Romero, Villar,

Gomez-Fraguela & Lopez-Romero, 2012).

The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) was created by Gosling et al. (2003) and was

intended to be utilized by researches that needed a brief instrument to study personality traits.

The items on the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) are simplified versions of past measures

of personalities but using only ten items instead of many questions about the specific trait

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

components (Gosling et al., 2003). The benefit of a shorter instrument includes the elimination of

redundancy and reduces fatigue in participants (Tobacyk et al., 2008). The Ten Item Personality

Inventory (TIPI) takes approximately one minute to complete and the usage of the instrument is

expected to increase dramatically in scholarly research (Robbins, 2001).

With regard to reliability and validity, the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)

accurately measures personality traits and has been evidenced to predict Big Five personality

traits (Romero et al., 2012). The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) aims to maximize

validity of content by using descriptors from other instruments of personality testing (Gosling et

al., 2003). Furnham (2008) detailed evidence of the convergent reliability with the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) and the 60-item NEO five-factor inventory (Chiorri et al., 2015).

Jonason, Tiecher and Schmmitt (2011) reported using a series of measures to assess the

instrument to verify that it measured what it intends to measure. One feature of a brief measure is

diminished internal consistency but the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) shows good

psychometric properties and has been shown to be reliable in predicting personality traits

(Jonason et al., 2011). Additionally, Gosling et al. (2003) reported positive evidence of the Ten

Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) exhibiting convergent validity, discriminant validity and test-

retest reliability. The personality scales of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) showed

high internal consistency reliabilities Cronbach alphas of .68, .40, .50, .73, and .45 for the

extraversion personality trait, agreeableness personality trait, conscientiousness personality trait,

emotional stability personality trait and the openness to experience personality trait, respectively,

when compared to the comparable 60-item NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) (Gosling et

al., 2003). Additionally, Gosling et al. (2003) found that the reliability indices of the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) nearly corresponds to those found in the literature. One common

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

criticism of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) is that it emphasizes brevity hence

resulting in only two items per scale, thus lowering inter-item correlation (Chiorri et al., 2015).

The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) contains ten statements with two items for

each of the dimensions of the Big Five Personality Trait Theory (Gosling et al., 2003). Each of

the ten items consists of an adjective describing one of the five personality trait dimensions

(extraversion personality trait, agreeableness personality trait, conscientiousness personality trait,

emotional stability personality trait and openness to experience personality trait) with items

representing the positive pole and negative pole for each dimension (Jonason et al., 2011). Items

for the extraversion personality trait are “extraverted, enthusiastic” and “reserved, quiet”

(reversed); “sympathetic, warm” and “critical, quarrelsome” (reserved) for the agreeableness

personality trait; “dependable, self-disciplined” and “disorganized, careless” (reserved) for the

conscientiousness personality trait; “calm, emotionally stable” and “anxious, easily upset”

(reversed) for the emotional stability personality trait; and “open to new experience, complex”

and “conventional, uncreative” (revered) for the openness to experience personality trait

(Romero et al., 2012).

Items on the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) use a seven-point Likert-type scale.

The scale points are 1 = disagree strongly, 2 = disagree moderately, 3 = disagree a little, 4 =

neither agree nor disagree, 5 = agree a little, 6 = agree moderately, 7 = agree strongly (Gosling et

al., 2003). When scoring the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), the reverse-scored items are

recoded then the average of the two items that make up each dimension are calculated (Gosling

et al., 2003). The score for each personality dimension indicates the magnitude to which

respondents report associating themselves with that particular personality trait (Gosling et al.,

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

2003). In regards to score interpretation, Appendix D and Appendix E describes male and female

score norms for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) by age range.

Participants were given an additional survey containing questions about demographic

data. Participant demographic questions included information about the school administrator’s

role, school type, age, gender, ethnicity, and level of education. Demographic data was used to

gain the general characteristics of the studied sample as well as its resemblance to the larger

population. The demographic study only included a small number of distinguishing questions to

ensure confidentiality.

Data Collection Procedures

The researcher collected data from elementary, middle and high school administrators

from unified school districts which included kindergarten through twelfth grades throughout the

state of California. Administrators were contacted through social media websites such as

LinkedIn and Twitter to complete the survey via direct message during the 2016-2017 school

year with notification about the proposed study, the purpose of research study and the study

timeline. An informed consent was located on the front page of the online site and was also

included with the message. Study participants were able to agree to participation electronically.

The informed consent forms included information regarding confidentiality and the option to

opt-out of the study at any time.

The three surveys followed the consent information on the online site for participant

completion. The subjects of the study were presented with the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self), the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and the demographic

survey with instructions regarding expectations and completion deadlines. Collection of survey

data began to occur automatically once subjects completed each survey. Participants were

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

informed that they had the option to discontinue the survey at any time and that there would have

been no negative consequences from opting out of the study.

Data Analysis

The data collected from the surveys was compiled by the online data collection tool

www.surveymonkey.com and safeguarded on a password-protected computer in a password-

protected file. Scores were converted for statistical analysis utilizing the Statistical Package for

the Social Sciences (SPSS) to analyze the raw data. The results from both the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) were

analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics.

The mean, mode and standard deviation and five-number summary of all five subscales

of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and 12 subscales of the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) were computed and reported. For the first research question,

scatterplots with overlaid regression lines and 95% confidence bands were generated to visually

identify possible anomalies in the data. Shapiro-Wilk’s tests of each of the variables to asses the

assumption of normality and f-tests of each bivariate pair of variables to determine if each

satisfied the assumption of heteroscedasticity. The assumption of normality was not met so

permutation tests were used to estimate the precision of the correlation coefficient and its

associated confidence interval. Once the assumption was satisfied, canonical correlation was

used to identify possible correlations and the extent to which, if at all, there was a statistically

significant relationship between the magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three

leadership styles. In order to asses the strength of the association between the variables, effect

size was calculated via the squared canonical correlation coefficient (i.e., Rc2), with values of

.01, .09 and .25 considered to be small, medium and large, respectively. To provide an indication

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

of the meaningfulness of resultant effect sizes, these were compared to the findings of prior

research in Chapter V.

To identify possible differences between school types (i.e., the second research question)

and g1 and g2 methods of normality testing was used to assess the skew and kurtosis of the data,

providing an indication of its satisfaction of the assumption of normality. Levene’s test was used

to determine if the assumption of homogeneity was satisfied. After conducting a multivariate

analysis of variance (MANOVA) on the data, residuals vs. fitted (i.e., error vs. predicted) values

were calculated and examined using Q-Q plots of the distribution’s shape to provide additional

information regarding the data’s satisfaction of the assumptions of homogeneity and normality.

Effect size was calculated via omega squared, with values of .01, .06 and .14 considered to be

small, medium and large, respectively. Resultant values were also compared to those of prior

studies in Chapter V.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Chapter 4: Findings

Introduction

School administrators interact daily with various individuals in an effort to facilitate a

successful learning environment for students as well as to provide a rewarding workplace for

teachers and faculty. The present research study aimed to examine if there was any relationship

between the personality traits of an educational leader and their preferred type of leadership

style. Educational leaders are tasked with providing guidance to students, teachers, parents and

community members and an understanding of personality traits may assist them in this

undertaking in regards to communication. Additionally, an understanding of how their leadership

style is affected by their personality traits may also be a helpful tool in the educational

administrators’ toolbox in order to assist them in being cognizant of their personal biases as a

leader.

The purpose of this quantitative research study was to identify what relationships, if any,

exists between the magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles

among school administrators. Additionally, the study aimed to examine what differences, if any,

exist among the magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles

between elementary, middle and high school educational administrators. This information

regarding such a relationship would be important in regards to the contribution of information for

the professional development of education administrators.

The intent of this research study was to try and identify associations between the

personality traits and leadership style among California kindergarten through twelfth grade

unified school district administrators, as well as differences in these variables among each group

of administrator. The study was quantitative in nature and utilized a non-experimental design

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

whereas variables were measured via self report and were not researcher manipulated.

Educational leaders were initially contacted through social media and received a link that

included survey information and links to complete two surveys in order to participate in the

study. In addition, the link included access to a researcher designed demographic survey.

The instruments utilized in this research study included the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X - Self) which measures leadership style as well as the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) which measures personality traits. The participants were also asked

to complete a researcher-created survey for demographic information. Study data was collected

on the online survey site (www.surveymonkey.com) and was subsequently exported into an

Excel spreadsheet for scrutiny. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was

utilized for statistical analysis of variables in the study. The research survey link was available

24 hours a day and was initially opened for 30-days but was extended to 180-days due to

insufficient survey responses.

Educational administrators were contacted through social media websites such as

LinkedIn and Twitter with the participation request and a link to the survey provided to the

recipients. California unified school district administrators with job titles or “handles” on social

media which included the term “principal” were sent a direct message with the link to the survey.

Potential participants who attempted to access the survey link after the survey deadline received

a message notifying them of closure of the survey. Participation in the study was voluntary and

respondents did not receive compensation for involvement. Figure 1 represents chronological

survey completion information.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

July 2016 August 2016


20 8

15 6

10 4

5 2

0 0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31

July 2016 August 2016



Septermber 2016 October 2016
12 12
10 10
8 8
6 6
4 4
2 2
0 0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31

Septermber 2016 October 2016



November 2016 December 2016
12 2.5
10 2
8
1.5
6
1
4
2 0.5
0 0
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31

November 2016 December 2016

Figure 1. Participant survey response timeline representing the chronological completion rates
for collected study data from educational administrators.

This chapter will outline the study participant’s demographic information as well as

provide detailed data resulting from the statistical analysis. Furthermore, a discussion around the

findings of the research study as well as the potential significance of the study results will be

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

addressed, along with potential shortcomings in data collection and analysis. Chapter 5 will

delve into greater detail about the data obtained in relation to prior similar studies, and will also

discuss the implications of key findings. Ultimately, Chapter 5 will conclude with

recommendations for future study pertaining to the personality traits and leadership styles of

educational leaders.

Presentation of Key Findings


In this chapter, data will be illustrated through systematic presentation of study variables

and how those entities and their interactions influenced key findings. Initially, we reviewed the

research study design including the primary problem statement problem, the purpose of the

research study as well as the participant demographic information. Data regarding study

descriptive statistics include age, gender, age, level of education, ethnicity and type of school site

associated with the educational administrator will be presented next.

Following this, we will explore the study research questions as well as consider each

hypothesis associated with such inquiry. Specifically, we will scrutinize both instruments used in

the surveys, the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI), and the information resulting from data analysis. This chapter aims

to measure the variables associated with the research questions and report the data of each

statistical test associated with each measurement tool.

According to the California Department of Education (CDE), approximately 6,559

administrators qualified for inclusion in the study. In regards to survey completion rates, of those

6,559 applicable administrators, a total of 416 leaders replied to the survey request. Out of the

416 responses received, 376 surveys were applicable for inclusion due to the participants’

completion of both variable measurement tools. Thus, approximately 90% of educational leaders
51

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

that initially replied to the survey request were included in the research data and a total of 10% of

respondents were ultimately eliminated. Calculations indicate that a total of .06% of applicable

California unified school district administrators (n = 416) responded to the survey participation

request but only .05% of administrators actually completed the survey sufficiently to be included

in sample. To achieve a 95% confidence level and a 5% confidence interval, 363 administrators

were needed to participate in the study and that number of viable surveys were achieved in data

collection, assuming random participation from representatives of the larger population.

In regards to data gathered from the researcher designed demographic survey (see Table

2), when characterizing the 376 survey respondents, 241 were male school administrators and

accounted for 64.1% of the study sample. There were 135 participants that were female school

administrators and they accounted for 35.9% of the study demographics. With a total of 226

completed surveys, the 30-49 years of age bracket represented the majority of survey

respondents with 60.1% of the population. With 10 representatives in the sample, the 65 and up

age bracket was the least represented group and comprised 2.7% of the sample. In regards to

education level, a total of 238 leaders indicated that they had a Master’s Degree and this group

represented 63.3% of the study sample. Furthermore, two respondents to the study designated

that their highest level of education obtained was a High School Diploma and represented .5% of

the total study population.

Additionally, in terms of the study demographic data, when considering the ethnic

backgrounds of the survey respondents are revealed, it appears that 278 respondents identified as

White/Non-Hispanic and comprised 73.9% of the study sample. The least represented ethnic

population was Native Americans/American Indian with a total of three surveys submitted and

representing .08% of the total survey participants. Finally, when looking at the educational

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

settings occupied by the leaders, 130 individuals indicated that they work in a High School

setting thus amounting to 34.6% of the educational administrators in the study. Alternative

schools comprised 1.6% of the study sample with a total of six survey respondents.

Table 2

Participant Demographics

Gender Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent


Valid Male 241 64.1 64.1 64.1

Female 135 35.9 35.9 100.0

Total 376 100.0 100.0

Age Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent


Valid Ages 18-29 21 5.6 5.6 5.6

Ages 30-49 226 60.1 60.1 65.7

Ages 50-64 118 31.4 31.4 97.1

Ages 65 and up 10 2.7 2.7 99.7

No Reply 1 .3 .3 100.0
Total 376 100.0 100.0

Education Level Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent


Valid High School Graduate 2 .5 .5 .5
Bachelor's Degree 34 9.0 9.0 9.6
Master's Degree 238 63.3 63.3 72.9
Doctorate Degree 100 26.6 26.6 99.5
No Reply 2 .5 .5 100.0
Total 376 100.0 100.0
(continued)

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Ethnicity Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent


Valid Asian/Pacific Islander 20 5.3 5.3 5.3
Black/African 36 9.6 9.6 14.9
American
Hispanic/Latino 36 9.6 9.6 24.5
Native American / 3 .8 .8 25.3
American Indian
White 278 73.9 73.9 99.2
No Reply 3 .8 .8 100.0
Total 376 100.0 100.0

Educational Environment Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent


Valid Elementary School 100 26.6 26.6 26.6
Middle High School 66 17.6 17.6 44.1
High School 130 34.6 34.6 78.7
Other - Alternative 6 1.6 1.6 80.3
School
Other - Consultant 12 3.2 3.2 83.5
Other - District Office 29 7.7 7.7 91.2
Other - Kindergarten 20 5.3 5.3 96.5
Thru Twelfth Grade
Other - 13 3.5 3.5 100.0
Superintendent
Total 376 100.0 100.0

In addition to the demographic survey data illustrated above, there were two other data

gathering instruments utilized to collect information related to the measured variables in this

research study. The first was the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) which

was used to classify the leadership style of educational leaders as defined by the

Transformational Leadership Theory. The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X –

Self) consists of 45-items using a 5-point scale to evaluate individual leadership preferences in

the transformational leadership style, the transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire

54

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

leadership/non-leadership style domains. Respondents are instructed to rate leadership traits as

they feel it best describes them as a leader. The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire

(MLQ:5X – Self) is a widely used measurement tool in leadership research (Rowold & Heinitz,

2007). Furthermore, the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) has been

proven to be a reliable predictor of leadership style in a rage of environments (Rowold &

Heinitz, 2007).

Descriptive statistics were calculated, specifically the mean, mode and standard deviation

for the survey data collected in the study. The range of possible responses for each sub-scale of

the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) is between 0.00 (Not at all) and

4.00 (Frequently, if not always). Educational leaders in the study scored within the 4.00 and 3.00

mean on six of the sub-scales represented in the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire

(MLQ:5X – Self) specifically, idealized influence/behavior (m = 3.21, SD = .631),

individualized consideration (m = 3.13, SD = .631), inspirational motivation (m = 3.28, SD =

.606), intellectual stimulation (m = 3.04, SD = .605), effectiveness (m = 3.15, SD = .556) and

satisfaction (m = 3.15, SD = .685).

Furthermore, educational leaders scored within a mean range of 2.00 to 3.00 on three of

the sub-scales of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) on the idealized

influence/attributed domain (m = 2.96, SD = .548), contingent reward (m = 2.81, SD = .666) and

the extra effort (m = 2.99, SD = .638) categories. Data analysis additionally uncovered that the

current study participants scored between a mean range of 0.00 and 2.00 on the three final

subscales of the measurement instrument, specifically the management by exception/active

domain (m = 1.58, SD = .774), the management by exception/passive style (m = .944, SD =

.701) and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (m = .646, SD = .660) on the Multi-

55

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self). Table 3, as seen below, delineates the

descriptive statistics for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self).

Table 3

Descriptive Statistics for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X)

MLQ:5X – Self
Descriptive Statistics II - A II - B IM IS IC CR
n Valid 376 376 376 376 376 376
Missing 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mean 2.9614 3.2068 3.2817 3.0381 3.1343 2.8094
Std. Deviation .54799 .63058 .60602 .60456 .63133 .66567
Range 2.75 2.75 2.75 2.50 3.00 3.75
Mode 3.00 3.75 4.0 3.0 3.5 3.0

MLQ:5X – Self
Descriptive Statistics ME - A ME – P LF – L EE E S
n Valid 376 376 376 376 376 376
Missing 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mean 1.5826 .9437 .6456 2.9908 3.1451 3.1489
Std. Deviation .77372 .70103 .66023 .63786 .53565 .68515
Range 4.00 3.00 3.00 2.75 2.50 3.00
Mode 1.25 .25 .00 3.00 3.00 3.00

In addition to the information presented above, the median score for the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) subscales, as indicated in the five number summary,

highlights that the educational leaders in this study scored the highest within the inspirational

motivation (Md =3.38, n =376) subscale. Conversely, the data collected in this study suggests

that the lowest scoring Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) subscale for

educational administrators was the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership domain (Md =.500, n

= 376). Table 4 describes the specific data regarding the information gained from the five-

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

number summary of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) from

educational administrators.

Table 4

Five-Number Summary for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X)

MLQ:5X – Self
Five Number Summary II - A II – B IM IS IC CR

n Valid 376 376 376 376 376 376


Missing 0 0 0 0 0 0
Median 3.0000 3.2500 3.3750 3.0000 3.2500 2.7500
Minimum 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.50 1.00 .25
Maximum 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00
Percentiles 25 2.5000 2.7500 3.0000 2.5400 2.7500 2.3125
50 3.0000 3.2500 3.3750 3.0000 3.2500 2.7500
75 3.2500 3.7500 3.7500 3.5000 3.5000 3.2500

MLQ:5X – Self
Five Number Summary ME - A ME - P LF - L EE E S
n Valid 376 376 376 376 376 376
Missing 0 0 0 0 0 0
Median 1.5000 .7500 .5000 3.0000 3.2500 3.0000
Minimum .00 .00 .00 1.25 1.50 1.00
Maximum 4.00 3.00 3.00 4.00 4.00 4.00
Percentiles 25 1.0000 .2500 .0000 2.6600 2.7500 3.0000
50 1.5000 .7500 .5000 3.0000 3.2500 3.0000
75 2.0000 1.5000 1.0000 3.3300 3.5000 3.5000

Histograms and boxplots were created from the study data collected for the sub-scales of

the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self). Results displayed the distribution

data for the variables illustrating a graphic representation of the frequency distribution of scores.

Findings in the current study data suggests varying scales of normal distribution and non-

normally distributed scores among the leadership style measurement tool. In addition, outliers

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

were observed in the results, in some but not all, of the sub-scales on the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self). Outliers can be a common occurrence among

studies with larger samples (Bono & Judge, 2004). Figure 2 provides histograms and boxplots

for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self).


(continued)

58

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE


(continued)

59

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE


(continued)

60

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 2. Histogram and boxplot representations for educational administrator’s information


regarding the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ: 5X) subscales.
The second measurement tool used in the research study was the Ten Item Personality

Inventory (TIPI) utilized to measure personality traits as defined by the Big Five Personality

Trait Theory. The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) consists of ten questions using a 7-point

scale to evaluate five personality trait domains. Study survey respondents were instructed to

select personality traits that they believe best describes them. The Ten Item Personality Inventory

(TIPI) was created to provide a shortened measure to compute five personality traits and employs

simplified items from prior instruments utilized to measure personality traits (Gosling et al.,

2003).

The full range of possible responses for each of the sub-scales of the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) is a mean between 1.00 (Disagree Strongly) to 7.00 (Agree

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Strongly). Educational administrators scored between a mean score of 1.00 to 5.00 on one scale

of the measure, which was the extraversion (m = 4.96, SD = 1.47) domain. Respondents scored

between a means score of 5.00 to 6.00 on three of the sub-scales within the Ten Item Personality

Inventory (TIPI). Specifically, scores were represented in the agreeableness personality trait

domain (m = 5.35, SD = .1.27), the emotional stability personality trait domain (m = 5.65, SD =

1.20) and the openness to experience personality trait domain (m = 5.72, SD = 1.05).

Administrators scored between a means score of 6.00 to 7.00 in the conscientiousness

personality trait domain (m = 6.08, SD = 1.06) on the personality measurement tool. Table 5

describes the descriptive statistics for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

Table 5
Descriptive Statistics for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)
TIPI
Descriptive
Statistics E A C ES OE
n Valid 376 376 376 376 376
Missing 0 0 0 0 0
Mean 4.9641 5.3524 6.0824 5.6503 5.7154
Std. Deviation 1.46721 1.27076 1.05823 1.20417 1.04887
Range 6.00 6.00 6.50 6.00 4.50
Mode 4.00 6.00 7.00 7.00 6.5

The median score for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) sub-scales, which is

indicated in the five number summary, highlights that the highest scoring subscale by

administrators was the conscientiousness (Md = 6.50, n = 376) personality trait domain. The

lowest median score for educational leader personality traits detected by the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) scoring was in the extraversion (Md =5.00, n = 376) personality

trait domain. Table 6 describes the five-number summary for the Ten Item Personality Inventory

(TIPI).
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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Table 6
Five-Number Summary for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)

TIPI
Five-Number Summary E A C ES OE
n Valid 376 376 376 376 376
Missing 0 0 0 0 0
Median 5.0000 5.5000 6.5000 6.0000 6.0000
Minimum 1.00 1.50 1.00 1.00 2.50
Maximum 7.00 7.50 7.50 7.00 7.00
Percentiles 25 4.0000 4.5000 5.5000 5.0000 5.0000
50 5.0000 5.5000 6.5000 6.0000 6.0000
75 6.0000 6.5000 7.0000 6.5000 6.5000

Histograms and boxplots were created from the study data collected for the sub-scales of

the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Results displayed the distribution data for the

variables illustrating a graphic representation of the frequency distribution of scores. Findings in

the current study data suggests that the sub-scales of the personality trait measure exhibited a

non-normally distribution of scores, with graphics clearly depicting a congregation of scores

away from the center and into the right quadrant of the depiction. In addition, outliers were

observed in the majority of the boxplots for the sub-scales of the Ten Item Personality Inventory

(TIPI). Regardless, outliers can be a common discovery in studies with larger samples (Bono &

Judge, 2004). Figure 3 provides histograms and boxplots for the Ten Item Personality Inventory

(TIPI).

63

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE


(continued)

64

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 3. Histogram and boxplot representations for educational administrator’s information


from the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) subscales.
Complications
Potential shortcomings in data collection include the utilization of online participant

recruitment as well as the employment of an online measurement tools as primary method of

data acquisition. Participants were contacted primarily through social media sites thus limiting

the potential pool of applicants to individuals with internet access and experience with

technology. By including online surveys as the singular source of data, the current study is

excluding portions of the population that could be represented in the research findings (Dillman,

2000). While there are disadvantages to online participant recruitment and the utilization of an

online survey design, the drawbacks do not outweigh the advantages in regards to overall access

to potential respondents and the increased confidentiality that an online platform provides (Ward,

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Clark, Zabriskie & Morris, 2014). Furthermore, the usage of an online forum allows for the lack

of geographic boundaries thus increasing response rates (O’Neill, 2004).

In addition, another possible shortcoming in the current study’s data collection and

analysis is the utilization of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) which is an abbreviated

measurement tool utilized to gather data about personality traits. The advantages of using a

shortened survey include reduced cost to the researcher and less time required on the part of the

study participants but there are also drawbacks to using an abbreviated measurement tool

(O’Neill, 2004). In contrast, respondents have limited interaction with the researcher when using

online testing methods and items on the survey may be interpreted differently by respondents

(Dillman, 2000). To remedy possible study shortcomings, the researcher applied proven analytic

techniques, specifically regression analysis, to address method imperfections in the study’s data

collection and/or data analysis. In addition, the researcher compared current study data,

specifically effect size, with previous studies that used the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)

to check for internal consistency for each of the measures sub-scales.

Research Question One


The first research question asked: What relationships, if any, exists between the

magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among school

administrators?

To explore the first research question, study data from the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) were prepared for

analysis by performing the Shapiro-Wilk’s test on each of the variables to assess if they satisfy

the assumption of normality. Additionally, F-tests was performed on each bivariate pair of

variables to determine if they satisfied the assumption of heteroscedasticity. The study data
66

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

ultimately did not skew in the same direction, so it did not meet the assumption of normality.

Thus, following analysis by canonical correlation, a permutation test was used that exchanges the

x and y labels, was utilized to draw randomly from the data with replacement, using subsets of

available data thus averaging the results obtained over many trials. This allows us to estimate the

precision of the correlation coefficient and its associated confidence level. Scatterplots with

overlay regression lines and 95% confidence bands were created to allow the researcher to

visually identifying anomalies and gain additional information regarding the relationship

between the study variables.

Canonical correlation was utilized to identify correlations between respondents scores

from the surveys and to examine the extent to which there was a possible association between the

leadership style and personality traits of educational leaders. In addition, correlation was used to

assess the degree of relationship, between the study variables. Effect size was calculated using

the squared canonical correlation coefficient to assess the strength of the association. Effect size

values were .01, .09, .25 considered to be small, medium and large, respectively. The study

results indicated that the educational leaders represented in the research study did appear to

exhibit non-zero relationships among the five personality traits and the three leadership styles.

Correlations among leadership style and personality traits. Bivariate pairings of the

transformational leadership with the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) identified various

associations among the data. Specifically a positive medium sized relationship with the

extraversion personality trait (r = .284, p < .001 [95% CI 1.70, 1.98]) and a large positive

relationship with the agreeableness personality trait (r = .309, p < .001 [95% CI 2.10, 2.35]), the

conscientiousness personality trait (r = .301, p < .001 [95% CI 2.85, 3.06]), the emotional

stability personality trait (r = .350, p < .001 [95% CI 2.41, 2.64]), and the openness to

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

experience personality trait (r = .496, p < .001 [95% CI 2.50, 2.68]). Moreover, a medium sized

positive relationship was unveiled between the inter-scale measures of the transactional

leadership style and the transformational leadership style (r = .222, p < .001 [95% CI -.999, -

.870]). Additionally, a large negative relationship was revealed between the laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style and the transformational leadership style (r = -.582, p < .001

[95% CI -2.43, -2.22]).

Transactional leadership was observed in the data to have a medium sized positive

association with the extraversion personality trait (r = .097, p = .061 [95% CI -2.93, -2.62]) as

well as a positive medium sized inter-scale relationship with the transformational leadership style

(r = .222, p < .001 [95% CI .870, .999]). Additionally, a small positive association was observed

between the transactional leadership style and the conscientiousness personality trait (r = .047, p

= .360 [95% CI 3.77, 4.01]). A small negative relationship was found between the transactional

leadership style and the emotional stability personality trait (r = -.060, p = .248 [95% CI 3.32,

3.59]) as well as the agreeableness personality trait (r = -.086, p = .094, [95% CI 3.02, 3.30]).

Moreover, data indicated that there was a positive small sized relationship between the

transactional leadership style and the openness to experience personality trait (r = .009, p = .857

[95% CI 3.41, 3.64]). Finally, a negative small-size association was unveiled between the inter-

scale measures of the transactional leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-

leadership style (r = -.037, p = .470 [95% CI -1.48, -1.31]).

Laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style had a large negative inter-scale association

with the transformational leadership style (r = -.582, p < .001 [95% CI 2.22, 2.43]).

Additionally, the transactional leadership style had a small negative relationship with the inter-

scale measure of the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (r = -.037, p = .470 [95% CI

68

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

1.31, 1.48]). It was also observed in the data that the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style

had a large negative relationship with four of the five personality traits represented in the Ten

Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Specifically, the agreeableness personality trait (r = -.262, p <

.001 [95% CI 4.40, 4.71]), the conscientiousness personality trait (r = -.379, p < .001 [95% CI

5.14, 5.43]), the emotional stability personality trait (r = -.348, p < .001 [95% CI 4.70, 5.01]) and

the openness to experience personality trait (r = -.343, p < .001 [95% CI 4.78, 5.06]). The final

personality domain in the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), the extraversion personality

trait, had a medium sized negative relationship with the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

style (r = -.225, p < .001 [95% CI 3.99, 4.34]). Table 7 provides a representation of associations

between the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI)

Table 7
Associations Between the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) and the Ten Item
Personality Inventory (TIPI)

Emotional Openness to
MLQ & TIPI
Associations Extraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Stability Experience
Personality Trait Personality Trait Personality Trait Personality Trait Personality Trait
Large Positive Medium Positive Large Positive Large Positive Large Positive
Transformational Relationship Relationship Relationship Relationship Relationship
Leadership Style (r = .284) (r = .309) (r = .301) (r = .350) (r = .496)
***p < .001 ***p < .001 ***p <.001 ***p <.001 ***p <.001
Medium Positive Medium Negative Small Positive Small Negative Small Positive
Transactional Relationship Relationship Relationship Relationship Relationship
Leadership Style (r = .097) (r = -.086) (r = .047) (r = -.060) (r = .009)
*p < .1 *p < .1 *p < .4 *p < .3 *p < .9

Laissez-Faire Medium Negative Large Negative Large Negative Large Negative Large Negative
Leadership/Non- Relationship Relationship Relationship Relationship Relationship
Leadership Style (r = -.225) (r = -.262) (r = -.379) (r = -.348) (r = -.343)
***p < .001 ***p < .001 ***p < .001 ***p < .001 ***p < .001

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Canonical correlation analysis. Data collected from the survey respondents was

analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for possible correlations.

Canonical correlation was used to measure the strength of the association between each of the

study variables. Table 8 illustrates the Pearson’s correlation coefficients observed between the

three leadership styles and the five personality traits in the study. As observed in the data, a

number of statistically significant relationships were established among the three leadership

styles, measured by the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self), and the five

personality traits represented in the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

Table 8
Pearson Correlation Coefficients for Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and Multi-Factor
Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X)

Transform/L Transact/L Non/L E A C ES OE

Transformational Pearson

Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed)

n=376

Transactional Pearson
.222**
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000

n=376 376

Non-Leadership Pearson
-.582** -.037
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .470

n=376
376 376

Extraversion Pearson
.284** .097 -.225**
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .061 .000

n=376
376 376 376

(continued)
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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Transform/L Transact/L Non/L E A C ES OE

Agreeableness Pearson
.309** -.086 -.262** -.005
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .094 .000 .923

n=376 376 376 376 376

Conscientiousness Pearson
.301** .047 -.379** .014 .274**
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .360 .000 .788 .000

n=376 376 376 376 376 376

Emotional Stability Pearson


.350** -.060 -.348** .051 .482** .401**
Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .248 .000 .328 .000 .000

n=376
376 376 376 376 376 376

Openness to Pearson
.496** .009 -.343** .179** .299** .144** .396**
Experience Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .857 .000 .000 .000 .005 .000

n=376
376 376 376 376 376 376 376

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Canonical correlation analysis uncovered statistically significant results in regards to the

transformational leadership style and the remaining variables in the current study. Findings

suggest that there is an inter-scale statistically significant relationship among the transactional

leadership style (p < .001) and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (p < .001) with

the transformational leadership style within the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire

(MLQ:5X – Self) In addition, the transformational leadership style displayed statistically

significant results with all five variables on the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

Specifically, the extroversion personality trait (p < .001), the agreeableness personality trait (p <

.001), the conscientiousness personality trait (p < .001), the emotional stability personality trait

(p < .001) and the openness to experience personality trait (p < .001).

Furthermore, the transactional leadership style did not reveal statistically significant
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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

results with the majority of the affiliated variables within the data. In regards to inter-scale

measures, the transactional leadership style observed a statistically significant relationship with

the transformational leadership style (p < .001) but the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

style did not exhibit a statistically significant relationship with the transactional leadership style

(p = .470). In reference to the variables measured by the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI),

the transactional leadership style did not portray any statistically significant findings with any of

the personality traits. Specifically, the extroversion personality trait (p = .061), the agreeableness

personality trait (p = .094), the conscientiousness personality trait (p = .360), the emotional

stability personality trait (p = .248), nor the openness to experience personality trait (p = .857).

Moreover, the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style exhibited statistically

significant results in association with the transactional leadership style (p < .001) but the results

did not indicate a statistically significant relationship with transactional leadership style (p =

.470). Additionally, the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style revealed statistically

significant results with all five scales of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Specifically,

the extraversion personality trait (p < .001), the agreeableness personality trait (p < .001), the

conscientiousness personality trait (p < .001), the emotional stability personality trait (p < .001)

and the openness to experience personality trait (p < .001). Figure 4 provides a canonical

correlation hypothesis and error plot for both the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and

Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 4. Hypothesis and error plot for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and Multi-
Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) canonical correlation for the educational
administrator’s survey data.

Permutation tests, a resampling method, was utilized while performing significance tests

on the data in order to test for exchangeability in the data points in the current study. The

distribution of the test statistic was obtained under the null hypothesis by the calculation of all

possible values under the rearrangement of labels on the data points. Labels were found to be

interchangeable within the permutation tests thus the resulting significance tests were deemed to

yield exact significance levels and confidence levels were able to be derived from the test results.

Permutation data analysis suggested approximate permutation dissemination observed

with comparable inference and virtually indistinguishable p-values. The results of the

permutation test are provided for both instruments utilized in the current study. Table 9 provides

information regarding the results from the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X –

Self) in reference to the current study data. Additionally, results for the permutation test results

for the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) are also provided. Table 10 indicates the results for

the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) for the current study data for educational

administrators.

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Table 9

Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) Permutation Test Results

MLQ:5X - Self [1] [2] [3]

[1] -0.7533369 0.943262 0.3925715

[2] 0.1359002 -0.5845164 0.8404525

[3] 0.3710857 1.0679874 0.5057379

Table 10

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Permutation Test Results

TIPI [1] [2] [3]

[1] -0.3377636 -0.21166125 0.49054476

[2] -0.2005644 0.41296062 -0.42723570

[3] -0.3682970 -0.85966441 0.07000562

[4] -0.1510230 -0.08274586 -0.65477049

[5] -0.5538757 0.52554362 0.48796000

The study’s canonical correlation analysis describes a presence of statistically significant

study results thus indicating a reason to suggest an association between the constructs

represented by the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI). Results designate the ability to reject the null hypothesis of the first

research question pose in the current study and suggest the notion of non-zero relationships

present amongst the three leadership styles and the five personality traits measured in the study

data.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Research Question Two


The second research question asked: What difference, if any, exist among the magnitude

of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles between elementary, middle

and high school administrators?

To address the second study research question, study data from the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) were

prepared for analysis by performing Levene’s test on the data collected to confirm that the

assumption of homogeneity was satisfied. Levene’s test makes the assumption that data samples

are obtained from populations that represent equal variances and if the variation is different or

similar between the groups. The data collected from elementary and middle school

administrators for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) was observed to

satisfy the assumption of homogeneity. Specifically, the transformational leadership style (F(1,

164)= .001, p = .970), the transactional leadership style (F(1,164)= .994, p =.320) and the

laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (F(1, 164)= .273, p = .602). Elementary and middle

school administrators’ data also satisfied the assumption of homogeneity within the scales of the

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Specifically, the extraversion personality trait (F(1, 164)=

.787, p = .376), the agreeableness personality trait (F(1,164)= .608, p = .437), the

conscientiousness personality trait (F(1, 164)= .759, p = .385), the emotional stability

personality trait (F(1, 164)= .807, p = .370) and the openness to experience personality trait

(F(1, 164)= .189, p = .665).

Middle school and high school administrators survey data was also examined using

Levene’s test to satisfy the assumption of homogeneity between the two groups. Survey data

affirmed that the assumption was satisfied for the variables measured by the Multi-Factor

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) for homogeneity. Specifically, the transformational

leadership style (F(1, 194)= .048, p = .827), the transactional leadership style (F(1, 194)= .473, p

= .493) and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (F(1, 194)= .033, p = .855). Middle

and high school administrator groups also satisfied the assumption of homogeneity for three of

the five sub-scales of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Specifically, the extraversion

personality trait (F(1, 194)= .101, p = .751), the conscientiousness personality trait (F(1, 194)=

.297, p = .587) and the openness to experience personality trait (F(1, 194)= .258, p = .612). The

remaining two sub-scales of the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), namely the agreeableness

personality trait (F(1, 194)= 4.70, p = .031) and the emotional stability personality trait (F(1,

194)= 4.812, p = .029) did not satisfy the assumption of homogeneity. Supplemental t-tests was

performed, not assuming homogeneous variance, were calculated. The results of the associated t-

tests illustrated the difference between groups given the violation of Levenes’ test of variance.

Data suggests the agreeableness personality trait was re-calculated in order to satisfy the

assumption of variance (t(161.99)= .491, p = .624) and the emotional stability personality trait

was also re-calculated in order to satisfy the assumption of variance (t(170.38)= .483, p = .630).

High school and elementary school administrators survey data satisfied the assumption of

homogeneity for all of the sub-scales of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X –

Self). Specifically, the transformational leadership style (F(1, 228)= 1.037, p = .310), the

transactional leadership style (F(1, 228)= .182, p = .670) and the laissez-faire leadership/non-

leadership style (F(1, 228)= .706, p = .402). High school and elementary school administrators’

data also satisfied the assumption of homogeneity for the sub-scales of the Ten Item Personality

Inventory (TIPI). Specifically, the extraversion personality trait (F(1, 228)= .449, p = .504), the

agreeableness personality trait (F(1, 228)= 3.00, p = .084), the conscientiousness personality trait

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

(F(1, 228)= 3.05, p = .082), the emotional stability personality trait (F(1, 228)= 2.50, p= .116)

and the openness to experience personality trait (F(1, 228)= 1.04, p = .310).

In addition, Q-Q plots were created and skew and kurtosis information calculated to

indicate the shape of the data distribution direction. Findings will provide the researcher with

additional information regarding the satisfaction of both the assumption of normality and

assumption of homogeneity. Data was analyzed by school type in order to assist with addressing

the second research question in the current research study. Q-Q plots representing data collected

from elementary school administrators was created to visually assist in satisfying the assumption

of normality. Results from the calculations indicate a negative symmetry of distribution for the

transformational leadership type, a positive symmetry of distribution for the transactional

leadership style and a positive symmetry of distribution for the laissez-faire leadership/non-

leadership style. Furthermore, in regards to data collected from elementary school administrators,

the extroversion personality trait illustrated a negative symmetry of distribution, the

agreeableness personality trait revealed a negative symmetry of distribution, the

conscientiousness personality trait illustrated a negative symmetry of distribution, the emotional

stability personality trait indicated a negative symmetry of distribution and the openness to

experience personality trait revealed a negative symmetry of distribution. Thus establishing that

the majority of the data produced by the elementary school administrators for the sub-scales

cluster at the high end of the data spectrum. Figure 5 provides the elementary school

administrators’ Q-Q plots for the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) and Ten

Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 5. Illustrates the findings of the Q-Q plots in regards to distribution of data collected in
the study for elementary school administrators.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Q-Q plots representing the data collected from the middle school administrators illustrate

a negative symmetry of distribution for the transformational leadership style, a positive

symmetry of distribution for the transactional leadership scale and a positive symmetry of

distribution for the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style. Conjointly, the data collected

from the middle school administrators appear to displayed a negative symmetry for all five sub-

scales of the Ten Item Personality Inventory. Visual inspection of the Q-Q plots for the data

computed for the middle school administrators illustrates a positive symmetry of distribution of

scores in the lower quadrant of the scale measuring leadership style. Inversely, it appears middle

school administrators displayed a negative symmetry of data distribution for the personality trait

measurement tool. Figure 6 provides middle school administrators’ Q-Q plots for the Multi-

Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) and Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

(continued)

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 6. Illustrates the findings of the Q-Q plots in regards to distribution of data collected in
the study for middle school administrators.

Study data collected from the high school administrators in the study was depicted in Q-

Q plots and appears to illustrate a negative symmetry of distribution for the transformational

leadership style, a negative symmetry of distribution for the transactional leadership scale and a

positive symmetry of distribution for the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style. In

conjunction, the data collected from the high school administrators on the Ten Item Personality

Inventory (TIPI) displays a negative symmetry for all five sub-scales of the Ten Item Personality

Inventory. A visual inspection of the Q-Q plots computed from the data collected from the high

school administrators illustrates the majority of sub-scales data distribution of scores appeared in

the lower quadrant of the scale measuring leadership style and personality type. Figure 7

provides the high school administrators’ Q-Q plots for the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) and Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 7. Illustrates the findings of the Q-Q plots in regards to distribution of data collected in
the study for high school administrators.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Effect size was calculated via omega squared, with values of .01, .06, .14 considered to

be small, medium and large, respectively. In regards to leadership style and personality traits,

data exposed that the Transformational leadership style exhibited a medium sized effect in the

data analysis (R = .08), the transactional leadership style displayed a small effect size with

school type (R = .01) and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style was observed to have

a small effect size with school type in the present study (R = .02). In regards to personality traits

and school type, the extraversion personality trait was distinguished as having a large effect size

with school type (R = .20). The agreeableness personality trait had a small effect size in the

current study with school type (R = .45). Additionally, the conscientiousness personality trait

was observed to have a small effect size with school type in the present study findings (R = .01).

The emotional stability personality trait also exposed a small effect size with school type in the

current study (R = .03). Finally, the openness to experience personality trait displayed a medium

effect size with school type in the data analysis (R = .07).

Elementary school educational administrators. The result of the study data analysis

revealed a difference in the degree of leadership style among elementary school educational

administrators as indicated by information gathered by the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self). Findings indicate that elementary school leaders had the largest

mean score in the transactional leadership style domain (m = 2.22, SD = .547) out of the three

school types represented in the sample. Conjointly, elementary school administrators reported

the lowest mean score in the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style scale (m = .808, SD =

.614) out of the three school types. The study results additionally observed a difference among

the elementary school administrators’ magnitude of five personality traits as uncovered by the

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Study data demonstrated that elementary school

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educational administrators had the highest mean score in the agreeableness personality trait

domain (m = 5.64, SD = 1.16), the conscientiousness personality trait domain (m = 6.05, SD =

.971) as well as the openness to experience personality trait domain (m = 5.77, SD = 1.10) out of

the three school types in the sample. In contrast, elementary school teachers displayed the lowest

mean score in the extraversion personality trait domain (m = 4.80, SD = 1.51) out of the three

school types.

Middle school educational administrators. In regards to the data collected from the

Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) indicating leadership style preferences,

analysis exposed that middle school administrators exhibited the highest mean score in the

transformational leadership style domain (m = 3.14, SD = .543) out of the three school types in

the sample. In contrast, middle school leaders displayed the lowest scoring mean of the three

school types in the transactional leadership style domain (m = 2.18, SD = .460). In regards to the

differences found in middle school educational administrators’ personality traits, the Ten Item

Personality Inventory (TIPI) uncovered that the middle school administrators in the study were

presented to have the highest mean score in the extraversion personality trait domain (m = 5.17,

SD = 1.46) out of the three school types. Additionally, middle school leaders illustrated the

highest mean score in the emotional stability personality trait domain (m = 5.60, SD = .998)

compared to the other three school types in the study.

High school educational administrators. Scores from the data analysis, as measured by

the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self), identified that the high school

educational leaders in the sample had the lowest scoring mean in the transformational leadership

domain (m = 3.00, SD = .527) out of the three school types. Conjointly, it was uncovered that the

high school educational administrators in the study exhibited the highest mean score in the

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laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style domain (m = .854, SD = .662) out of the three

school types in the sample. In references to differences in personality traits, findings from the

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) illustrated that the high school administrators represented

in the study had the lowest mean score in the agreeableness personality trait domain (m = 5.08,

SD = 1.41) out of the three school types. The high school leaders also had the lowest mean score

in the conscientiousness personality trait domain (m = 6.01, SD = 1.17) out of all three school

types in the study. Also, the high school administrators demonstrated the lowest mean score in

the emotional stability personality trait domain (m = 5.52, SD = 1.37) out of the three school

types. Finally, the high school educational leaders in the study displayed the lowest mean score

out of all three school types in the openness to experience personality trait domain (m = 5.42, SD

= 1.00).

Results indicate that differences appear to exist among the elementary, middle and high

school educational administrators among five personality traits and three leadership styles

explored in the current research study. Table 11 describes the mean scores and standard

deviations from the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) for the three school

types represented in the second research question in the study.

Table 11
Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational Administrators Multi-
Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X)
(MLQ:5X – Self) Transformational Transactional Laissez-Faire/
Mean Scores Leadership Style Leadership Style Non-Leadership Style
Elementary School 3.07 (SD= .525) 2.22 (SD= .457) .808 (SD= .614)
Administrators n=376 n=376 n=376
Middle School 3.14 (SD= .523) 2.18 (SD= .460) .826 (SD= .662)
Administrators n=376 n=376 n=376

(continued)

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(MLQ:5X – Self) Transformational Transactional Laissez-Faire/


Mean Scores Leadership Style Leadership Style Non-Leadership Style
High School 3.01 (SD= .527) 2.20 (SD= .514) .854 (SD= .662)
Administrators n=376 n=376 n=376

MLQ:5X - Self / Max Score 4.00 4.00 4.00

Table 12 additionally describes the mean scores and standard deviations from the Ten

Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) for the three school types represented in the second research

question in the study. Differences can be observed in the data analysis in regards to varying

levels of leadership style and personality traits within the three school types in the study sample.

Table 12
Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational Administrators Ten Item
Personality Inventory (TIPI)
Ten Item Personality
Inventory
(TIPI)
Mean Scores E A C ES OE
Elementary School
Administrators 4.80 (SD = 1.51) 5.64 (SD = 1.16) 6.05 (SD = .971) 5.60 (SD = 1.14) 5.77 (SD = 1.10)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376
Middle School
Administrators 5.17 (SD = 1.46) 5.17 (SD = 1.10) 6.02 (SD = 1.17) 5.61 (SD = .998) 5.76 (SD = .989)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376
High School
Administrators 4.83 (SD = 1.49) 5.08 (SD = 1.41) 6.02 (SD = 1.17) 5.52 (SD = 1.37) 5.42 (SD = 1.00)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376

TIPI / Max Score 7.00 7.00 7.00 7.00 7.00

“Other” educational administrators. Additional data analysis was performed on the

additional school types available in the study sample in order to discover parallel connections

detected in the findings. Results indicate that district office educational administrators were

identified as having the highest mean score in the transformational leadership style (m = 3.47, SD
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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

= .315) out of the five school types classified in the “other” category. In contrast, the alternative

school administrators displayed the lowest mean score in the transformational leadership style (m

= 3.18, SD = .212) out of the five school types. Additionally, findings suggest that the

kindergarten through twelfth grade school administrators had the highest mean score in the

transactional leadership style (m = 2.28, SD = .507) out of the five school types. Conversely, the

district office administrators illustrated the lowest mean score in the transactional leadership

style (m = 2.03, SD = .390) out of the five school types. Finally, the consultant educational

administrators displayed the highest mean score in the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

style (m = .804, SD = .562) out of the five school types. Furthermore, superintendent educational

administrators were observed in the data to have the lowest mean score in the laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style (m = .454, SD = .353) out of the five school types. Table 13

exhibits the findings from the data analysis in terms of mean scores and standard deviations for

the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) sub-scales for the five remaining

school types in the study sample.

Table 13
Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational Administrators (Other)
Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X)

(MLQ:5X – Self) Transformational Transactional Laissez-Faire/


Mean Scores Leadership Style Leadership Style Non-Leadership Style
Alternative School
Administrators 3.18 (SD = .212) 2.25 (SD = .715) .715 (SD = .380)
n=376 n=376 n=376
Consultant
Administrators 3.28 (SD = .472) 2.15 (SD = .571) .804 (SD = .562)
n=376 n=376 n=376

(continued)

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(MLQ:5X – Self) Transformational Transactional Laissez-Faire/


Mean Scores Leadership Style Leadership Style Non-Leadership Style
District Office
Administrators 3.47 (SD = .315) 2.03 (SD = .390) .636 (SD = .430)
n=376 n=376 n=376
Kindergarten Through
Twelfth Grade Administrators 3.34 (SD = .349) 2.28 (SD = .507) .777 (SD = .756)
n=376 n=376 n=376
Superintendent
Administrators 3.41 (SD = .286) 2.19 (SD = .677) .454 (SD = .353)
n=376 n=376 n=376

Additionally, in terms of results from the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) data

analysis for remaining school types, the findings identified that the kindergarten through twelfth

grade school administrators exhibited the highest mean score in the extraversion personality trait

(m = 5.45, SD = 1.27) out of the five “other” school types available in the current study sample.

Conversely, the superintendent educational administrators group was observed to have the lowest

score in the extraversion personality trait (m = 4.88, SD = 1.26) of the five school types.

Moreover, the data suggests that the alternative school administrators had the highest mean score

in the agreeableness personality trait (m = 6.00, SD = .707) out of the five school types. In

contrast, superintendent educational administrators were found to have the lowest mean score in

the agreeableness personality trait (m = .5.31, SD = 1.23) out of the five school types.

Additionally, the superintendent educational administrator group was revealed to have the

highest mean score in the conscientiousness personality trait (m = 6.38, SD = .916) out of the

five school types. Results indicate that the alternative school administrators were observed to

have the lowest mean score in the conscientiousness personality trait (m = 6.08, SD = .736) out

of the five school types.

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Furthermore, the superintendent educational administrators were discovered to have the

highest mean score in the emotional stability personality trait (m = 6.27, SD = 1.05) out of the

five school types. Conversely, the kindergarten through twelfth grade school administrator was

distinguished as having the lowest mean score in the emotional stability personality trait (m =

5.63, SD = .1.35) out of the five school types. Finally, the district office educational

administrators were observed in the data as having the highest mean score in the openness to

experience personality trait (m = 6.33, SD = .698) out of the five school types. In association, the

consultant educational administrators displayed the lowest mean score in the openness to

experience personality trait (m = 5.71, SD = 1.34) out of the five school types. Table 14 exhibits

the findings from the data analysis in terms of mean scores and standard deviations for the Multi-

Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) sub-scales for the five remaining school types

in the study sample.

Table 14
Sample Sizes, Mean Scores and Standard Deviations for Educational Administrators (Other) Ten
Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)
Ten Item
Personality
Inventory (TIPI)
Mean Scores E A C ES OE
Alternative School 6.00 (SD =
Administrators 4.92 (SD = 1.24) 6.00 (SD = .707) 6.08 (SD = .736) 5.92 (SD = 1.02) 1.05)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376
Consultant 5.71 (SD =
Administrators 5.17 (SD = 1.56) 5.75 (SD = 1.29) 6.25 (SD = .892) 5.92 (SD = 1.20) 1.34)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376
District Office 6.33 (SD =
Administrators 5.29 (SD = 1.41) 5.62 (SD = 1.29) 6.26 (SD = .809) 6.09 (SD = .946) .698)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376

(continued)

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Ten Item
Personality
Inventory (TIPI)
Mean Scores E A C ES OE
Kindergarten – 5.95 (SD =
Twelfth Grade 5.45 (SD = 1.27) 5.55 (SD = 1.17) 6.33 (SD = .963) 5.63 (SD = 1.35) .985)
Administrators n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376
Superintendent 6.19 (SD =
Administrators 4.88 (SD = 1.26) 5.31 (SD = 1.23) 6.38 (SD = .916) 6.27 (SD = 1.05) 1.11)
n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376 n=376

Noteworthy findings were discovered within the current study data collected from

educational administrators within the “other” school type category. Due to the current nature of

the present study, elementary, middle and high school educational administrators will remain the

focus and extraneous data for additional school types will not be further analyzed.

Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). In order to determine if relationships

existed between the variables in the second research question, a between group multivariate

analysis of variance was performed. Data collected from the school administrators was

investigated to see if there were differences in the magnitude of leadership style, as measured by

the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and degree of five personality

traits, as measured by the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Eight dependent variables were

used: transformational leadership style, transactional leadership style, laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style, extraversion personality trait, agreeableness personality trait,

conscientiousness personality trait, emotional stability personality trait and the openness to

experience personality trait. The independent variables were school type: elementary school,

middle school and high school. Preliminary testing confirmed no significant violations of the

satisfaction of assumptions.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results indicated no statistically significant

results in the data for combined dependent variables in relation to the three independent variables

under observation in the second research question. In regards to the dependent variables

considered separately, the data indicated that there were no statistically significant results

between school type and the three leadership styles, as measured by the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self). In contrast, results from the separated dependent variable

multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated statistically significant levels between

two personality traits as measured by the Ten Item Personality Inventory. Specifically, between

the elementary school administrators and the high school administrators, the agreeableness

personality trait (r = .019, p = .025[95% CI .078, .859]); partial eta squared = 0.045 and the

openness to experience personality trait (r = .012, p =.001[95% CI .074, .610]); partial eta

squared = 0.065. All other variables in the current study data did not differ significantly

statistically between the groups. Figure 8 provides bivariate histograms of the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ: 5X) and the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI).

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Figure 8. Representation of bivariate histograms of the five constructs measured by the Ten Item
Personality Inventory (TIPI) and the three constructs of the Multi-Factor Leadership
Questionnaire (MLQ: 5X – Self).
Summary of Key Findings
Hypothesis one investigated whether there were non-zero relationships between the

magnitude of five personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among school

administrators. The null hypothesis stated that no relationships existed between the magnitude of

the five personality traits and degree of the three leadership styles among school administrators.

Data analysis indicated a relationship between various variables in the study thus allowing us to

partially accept the first hypothesis in the research study and reject the null hypothesis

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

considering that several non-zero correlations were uncovered in the study statistics. Therefore,

hypothesis one is partially supported due to the statistical findings that there were non-zero

relationships observed between school administrators’ personality traits and leadership style.

Hypothesis two stated that differences existed among the magnitude of five personality

traits and the degree of three leadership styles among elementary, middle and high school

administrators. The null hypothesis states that no differences exist among the magnitude of five

personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among elementary, middle and high

school administrators. Various differences were uncovered between the measured variables in

the study, allowing us to partially reject the null hypothesis. Therefore, hypothesis two is

partially supported due to the fact that there were differences observed in the magnitude of five

personality traits and the degree of three leadership styles among school administrators.

This chapter aspired to present the parameters of the current research study in an effort to

gather data from California unified school district educational administrators. It was believed

that this particular demographic of administrators, identified in chapter one, could benefit from

an improved understanding of leadership style and the influence that personality traits may have

on a leader. It was the goal of the researcher to establish a body of useful knowledge that could

improve the professional development of educational leaders. This chapter provided study

statistics implicating impactful associations among school administrators, personality traits and

leadership style and attempted to contribute to the foundation of information available to

educational administrators regarding personality traits and leadership style. The following

chapter will summarize the key findings of the current research study as well as discuss

conclusions gathered from the study data analysis. Additionally, chapter five will explore study

implications for educational administrators as well as recommended areas for future study.

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Chapter 5: Data Analysis


Discussion

This chapter offers a summary of the scholarly literature pertaining to the findings related

to these three leadership styles and five personality traits will be considered. This final chapter

will also provide a discussion of implications for future policies and/or practices and researcher

recommendations for continuing research on this area of interest.

Associations between Leadership Style and Personality Traits

Leadership style. In response to the first research question, the study data was examined

to uncover whether a relationship found between the degree of three leadership styles and the

magnitude of five personality traits. The current data portrayed a large negative association

between the transformational leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership

style (r = -.582, p < .001 [95% CI -2.43, -2.22]). Similarly, Hartog, Van Muijen and Koopman

(1997) also established in their findings a large negative inter-scale relationship between the

transformational leadership style and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style (r = -.170,

p <.005).

Data suggests that the transformational leadership style presented a large positive

relationship with the extraversion personality trait (r = .284, p < .001 [95% CI 1.70, 1.98]).

Bono and Judge (2004) also found a large positive association between the extraversion

personality trait and the transformational leadership style (r = .240, p = .050 [95% CI .21, .28]).

In addition, Felfe and Schyns (2006), also uncovered a strong positive association between the

extraversion personality trait and the “perception” of the transformational leadership style (r =

.200, p <.001) in their study findings. Similarly, data collected in the current study unearthed a

large positive association between the transformational leadership style and the agreeableness

personality trait (r = .309, p < .001 [95% CI 2.10, 2.35]). Bono and Judge (2004) also

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determined a positive relationship between the transformational leadership style and the

agreeableness personality trait (r = .140, p = .160 [95% CI .06, .21]) in their findings.

In the current study data, the transformational leadership style exhibited a large positive

relationship with the conscientiousness personality trait (r = .301, p < .001 [95% CI 2.85, 3.06]).

Bono and Judge (2004) also found a similar association in their findings with a large positive

association detected between the transformational leadership style and the conscientiousness

personality trait (r = .130, p = .120 [95% CI .06, .19]). Finally, the current study discovered that

the transformational leadership style had a large positive relationship with the openness to

experience personality trait (r = .496, p < .001 [95% CI 2.50, 2.68]). Bono and Judge (2004),

similarly found a positive relationship between the openness to experience personality trait and

the transformational leadership style (r = .150, p = .150 [95% CI .08, .23]).

Conjointly, the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style was observed to have a large

negative association with the agreeableness personality trait (r = -.262, p < .001 [95% CI 4.40,

4.71]). Bono and Judge (2004) also reported uncovering a negative association between the

laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style and and the agreeableness personality trait (r = -

.120, p = .060 [95% CI -.19, -.06] in study findings. Additionally, the current study exposed that

the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style was revealed to have a large negative association

between the conscientiousness personality trait (r = -.379, p < .001 [95% CI 5.14, 5.43]).

Similarly, Bono and Judge (2004) also identified that a negative relationship was found between

the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style and the conscientiousness personality trait (r = -

.110, p = .060 [95% CI -.18, -.04]).

Personality traits. In terms of inter-scale personality trait measures, analysis results from

the current study data indicates that the agreeableness personality trait has a large positive inter-

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scale association with the conscientiousness personality trait (r = .274, p < .001 [95% CI -.873, -

.587]). Romero et al. (2012) reported similar findings in their study with data portraying a

positive inter-scale association between the agreeableness personality trait and the

conscientiousness personality trait (r = .250, p <.001). The current data analysis also found a

large positive inter-scale relationship between the agreeableness personality trait and the

emotional stability personality trait (r = .482, p < .001 [95% CI -.426, -.170]). Romero et al.

(2012) also observed a noteworthy positive relationship between the agreeableness personality

trait and the emotional stability personality trait (r = .200, p <.001) in their study findings.

In addition, the agreeableness personality trait was found in the current study data results

to have a large positive inter-scale relationship with the openness to experience personality trait

(r = .299, p < .001 [95% CI -.504, -.223]). Similarly, Ehrhart et al. (2009) described revealing a

strong positive inter-scale association between the agreeableness personality trait and the

openness to experience personality trait (r = .570, p <.050). Furthermore, the present study

unveiled a large positive inter-scale relationship with the agreeableness personality trait and the

extraversion personality trait (r = .420, p = -.923 [95% CI .191, .586]). In comparison, study

findings established by Enrhart et al. (2009) revealed that a small negative association was

detected between the extraversion personality trait and the agreeableness personality trait (r =

.005, p <.050) in their data analysis.

Moreover, analysis of in the current study data additionally established a large positive

inter-scale relationship between the emotional stability personality trait and the

conscientiousness personality trait (r = .401, p < .001 [95% CI -.558, -.306]). Storme, Tavani

and Myskowski (2016) also displayed a positive inter-scale strong association between the

emotional stability personality trait and the conscientiousness personality trait (r = .330, p <

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

.001). The present study exposed a large positive inter-scale association between the emotional

stability personality trait and the openness to experience personality trait (r = .396, p < .001

[95% CI -.191, .061]). Similarly, Storme, et al. (2016) also uncovered a positive inter-scale

relationship between the emotional stability personality trait and the openness to experience

personality trait (r = .170, p < .001).

Results indicate that findings from previous studies on leadership style and personality

traits, in addition to the findings from the current study, demonstrates detectable associations

between the degree of the three leadership styles represented on the Multi-Factor Leadership

Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self), and the magnitude of the five personality traits represented on

the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) among educational administrators. Upon inspection of

contributing literature sources, the majority of studies reporting statistically significant findings

were administered to undergraduate education and psychology university students. Possible

reasons for similarities in the study findings could be the connection of the education field and

the type of personality that the occupation attracts, thus skewing the data towards certain

personality traits and leadership style represented in the data represented in the corresponding

research studies.

In contrast, the largest contributor to connections with previous studies in the Bono and

Judge (2004) literature which represents a meta-analysis of literature available regarding the Big

Five personality traits and the transactional and transformational leadership styles. Possible

discrepancies found among the current study data and the results obtained by Bono and Judge

(2004) could be due to the previous study’s exclusion of self-report studies. Contrary to the

results of the current research study which relied primarily on the self-report of study variables

by the respondents.

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Leadership Style and Personality Traits in Educational Administration

Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results. Results from the Multivariate

Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) uncovered a statistically significant relationship between the

elementary school administrators and high school administrators in terms of the magnitude of the

agreeableness personality trait variable (r = .019, p = .025 [95% CI .078, .859]); partial eta

squared = 0.045. Results suggest an observance of higher levels of the agreeableness personality

trait in the elementary school administrator group compared to the high school administrator

group. Additionally, the multivariate analysis of variance also detected a statistically significant

connection among the elementary school administrators and the high school administrators in

regards to the scores corresponding with the openness to experience personality trait variable (r =

.012, p < .001 [95% CI .074, .610]); partial eta squared = 0.065. Data analysis revealed that the

elementary school administrator group displayed higher levels of the openness to experience

personality trait when compared to the high school administrator group. Output from the

multivariate analysis did not uncover any other statistically significantly connections between the

three groups in terms of the study test variables.

Elementary school educational administrators. The second research question in the

current study inquired about possible differences distinguishable between the elementary school,

middle school and high school administrators among their degrees of three leadership styles and

the magnitudes of five personality traits. When interpreting the data obtained from the

elementary school administrators, it is necessary to first distinguish the defining demographics

that the administrator leads at their particular school site. Elementary schools include

kindergarten through grade five but may or may not include grade six, depending on district

standards. Students in elementary school are typically between the ages of five and eleven years

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of age. In relation to age level, the researcher will now examine the basic developmental stages

typically associated with elementary school aged students in order to set the framework for

possible differences found in the data between school types.

In accordance with work by Jean Piaget (Berk, 2013), elementary school aged students

are maneuvering through two defining developmental stages during this time of their lives. This

time of growth allows them see the world in a more realistic and exploratory way. Labeled by

Piaget as the preoperational stage and concrete operation stages of cognitive development (Berk,

2013). In addition, Erik Erikson labeled this time in a child’s life as the “industry versus

inferiority” stage in this theory of psychosocial development (Studer, 2007). This developmental

stage is illustrated as a time where a student is looking for ways that they can be “good” and

“productive” within their world (Engels, Hotton, Devos, Bouckenooghe & Aelterman, 2008).

Kohlberg’s stages of moral development describe this time during the elementary school years as

a time of searching for order in the students’ surroundings and a sense of comfort and conformity

(Isaksson, 2006). Furthermore, when looking at the needs of an elementary school aged students,

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes this time in a student’s life as one where they are focused

on getting their basic physiological needs met. Students are striving to meet the need to feel safe

and experience a sense of belonging, according to Maslow’s theory (Medcalf, Hoffman &

Boatwright, 2013).

In light of the information gained regarding typical benchmarks of child development, the

current study data analysis compliments the findings of which elementary school leaders

achieving the highest mean score in the transactional leadership style domain out of the three

school types available in the sample (m = 2.22, SD = .547). Students of elementary school age

crave clear expectations for acceptable societal behaviors (Capps, 2004). Transactional

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leadership is based in simple punishment and control mechanisms commonly seen in the positive

reinforcement systems implemented in most elementary schools (Gedik & Sukru-Bellibas,

2015). Reward systems such as “Bobcat Bucks” and other such prizes are exchange based tactics

where a prize is given for compliance of regulations.

In addition, transactional style administrators in an elementary school setting may prefer

to be in a regimented environment and may not easily adapt to change. Transactional style

educational leaders may prefer the elementary school environment that does not stray from

predefined and standardized operating systems. It appears in the literature and in the current

research study findings that the transactional style of leadership would appear to work well with

the developmental and psychological needs of elementary school aged students. Transactional

leaders are typically seen to intervene when deviations from the norm are detected and children

in elementary schools experience this type of rigidity in terms of following predetermined

selections learning patterns (Chin, 2007). Children unable to perform educational tasks are

singled out and given specialized instruction. Transactional educational leaders are concerned

with benchmark measures and see the school as a machine. Elementary schools have typically

been described as industrialized, uniform and routine oriented (Marshall & Hooley, 2006).

Furthermore, in the current study, elementary school educational leaders exhibited the

lowest mean score for the laissez-faire leadership style domain (m = .808, SD = .614). These

findings are congruent with the developmental needs of the students represented within the

domain demographic. School aged students are unable to meet all of their basic and

psychological needs thus the school, thus society, provides the structured environment necessary

for student survival. If educational leaders in the elementary school setting engaged in the

laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style, then the students would take over the school and it

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would be chaos. Elementary school leaders do not have the luxury of neglecting responsibility

and avoiding decision making, both of which are indicative of the laissez-faire leadership/non-

leadership style. Laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style administration in an elementary

school setting would be disastrous in terms of leaders resisting roles of authority, resisting

conflict resolution and an outright absent style of interaction, or lack thereof. As established in

the literature regarding child developmental needs, elementary school aged students’ desire

structure and accountability and the presence of the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style

practices would create a situation where the students will play while the adults are all looking

away.

In relation to personality traits, elementary school administrators reported the highest

mean score in the agreeableness personality trait domain (m = 5.64, SD = 1.16) in the current

study out of the three school types. When considering the development needs of school aged

students, the atmosphere in an elementary school setting is saturated with the notions of

community and togetherness (Edmonds, 1979). Erikson’s postulated in his developmental theory

that students of this age range seek a sense of belonging with peers and positive interactions

(Domino & Affonso, 1990). The agreeableness personality trait domain is characterized as an

individuals’ level of friendliness and group cooperation. It is congruent with the needs of

elementary school students whom desire a respectful and welcoming environment.

Moreover, the conscientiousness personality trait domain had the highest mean score

found within the elementary school administrators (m = 6.05, SD = .971) in the current study

data analysis, out of all three school types in the sample. The conscientiousness personality trait

is identified as an individuals’ level of responsibility and dependability. According to Kohlberg,

students at the elementary school age level crave situations that are consistent and regimented to

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transcend to the next level of development (Kohlberg, 2008). Erikson described this time in his

“Industry versus Inferiority” stage of psychosocial development as the time illustrated by

accepting responsibility and responding to challenges with enthusiasm (Studer, 2007). In order to

succeed in the educational environment during the elementary school aged years, educational

leaders exemplify the characteristics found within the conscientiousness personality trait domain

and strive to create a safe place for children to problem solve. Elementary school educational

administrators facilitate an environment where students can explore and grow while still

remaining in a safe and dependable entity like elementary school.

Finally, in the present study, elementary school educational administrators had the

highest mean score in the openness to experiences personality trait domain (m = 5.77, SD = 1.10)

out of the three school types. During the elementary school years, children emerge through

various levels of development and exploration (Maslow, 1970). Administrators at the elementary

school level are there year after year to participate in these new experiences with their students.

It seems corresponding that the elementary school leaders would score high on the openness to

experience personality trait domain when the defining characteristic of that trait are curiosity and

imagination. Abraham Maslow described, in his theory of development, the years during

elementary school as a time of cautious curiosity with a desire to explore and try new things

(Maslow, 1970). Elementary school educational administrators scored the highest out of the three

school types on the openness to experience personality trait domain because the children they

work with are constantly experiencing new things and the educational administrators can assist

them on their journey.

Conversely, elementary school educational leaders were established in the current study

data to have the lowest mean score in the extraversion personality trait domain (m = 4.80, SD =

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1.51). The extraversion personality trait domain is characterized by seeking out excitement and

needing to be the center of attention. While the elementary school setting may be many things, it

would not be typically described as an “exciting” place to be by many standards. The elementary

school setting is one that is dependable and reliable for children, the exuberant personality

characteristics associated with the extraversion personality trait domain is incongruent with that

type of environment best suited for students who need stability.

Middle school educational administrators. As we continue to discuss the findings from

the current study, we will observe middle school educational administrators and the specifics

uncovered in the data, particular to that particular school type. Students in middle school are

typically in grade seven and grade eight yet some school districts include grade six and/or grade

nine in the middle school grade levels. The average age of the middle school student ranges from

eleven to fourteen years of age. In reference to age level, the researcher will now examine the

basic developmental stages typically associated with middle school aged students in order to set

the framework for possible differences found in the data between school types.

During the early adolescent years, students are still seeking security but also searching

out their own identity (Berk, 2013). According to Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development,

the middle school years are the ones where child are more in search of an identity (Studer, 2007).

Erikson labeled this level of development as the “identity versus role confusion” stage of

psychosocial development (Bedard & Do, 2004). Students in middle school are beginning to

look for a sense of personal cohesiveness in the world around them and find a place for

themselves within the greater context and explore their possibilities (Domino & Affonso, 1990).

Maslow described this time in his developmental theory as one of personal growth and

development, where adolescents attempt to transcend to a level of esteem and self respect

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(Vershueren, Macoen & Schoefs, 1996). Piaget describe this stage of cognitive development as

one where adolescents begin to exhibit reasoning, planning and theoretical thinking (Swingly,

2012). Additionally, Kohlberg illustrated this time of a students’ life where they enter a stage he

labeled in his developmental theory as the post-conventional level of reasoning. During this

stage, Kohlberg’s theory states, adolescents begin to develop ethics and personal principles

(Isaksson, 2006). While the middle school years may be challenging to many students, this time

period in their life is no doubt one of transformation and transition. We will now look at the

specific characteristics associated in this research study with the middle school educational

administrators at the forefront of this metamorphic time.

In the present study, data analysis for the leadership style indicated that the middle school

educational administrators had the highest mean score in the transformational leadership style

domain (m = 3.13, SD = .523) out of the three school types. The transformational leadership style

is characterized as the ability to motivate followers and inspire others to be their best. This trait

domain description is complementary to the stage of development students are navigating during

their middle school years and require influential leadership to assist them. In contrast, middle

school educational administrators exhibited the lowest mean score in the current study within the

transactional leadership style domain (m = 2.18, SD = .523) out of the three school types. During

the middle school years, children are experiencing a time where they appreciate and respond to

authenticity (Berk, 2013). The basic control and punishment dynamics assimilated with the

transactional style of leadership is a mechanism that would be or could be unwelcome to middle

school aged students. Additionally, a parallel elements of the transactional leadership style is the

inability to be flexible and adapt to change. Middle school aged children are constantly changing

and evolving as they maneuver various stages of development during these years. Educational

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administrators need to be quick to adapt in the middle school environment with students at that

age constantly in search of their next identity.

In regards to personality traits, the current study found that middle school educational

administrators exhibited the highest mean score within the extraversion personality trait (m =

5.17, SD = 1.46) out of the three school types. One possibility could be that the middle school

design allows for specialized student instruction and students to move from one classroom to

another. Perhaps middle school educational administrators feel that they compete with other

adults and thus, exude the characteristics typically associated with the extraversion personality

trait, specifically enthusiasm and energy, to gain the attention of the adolescent (Mount, Barrick

& Stewart, 1989). A defining characteristic of the extraversion personality trait is the desire to

be the center of attention so it is not unreasonable to assume that educational leaders that work

with middle school students want to be seen as popular with their students. It would also appear

that Extraverted educational administrators working with middle school aged students enjoy

taking a leadership role and students within that developmental stage need someone to lead them

into their future opportunities.

Middle school educational administrators also had the highest mean score in the

emotional stability personality trait domain (m = 5.61, SD = .998) out of the three school types in

the current study sample. Defining characteristics of the emotional stability personality trait

included an even-temperament and the ability to project a sense of calm. Educational leaders

scoring high in the emotional stability personality trait domain are able to easily cope with

stressful situations and provide a sense of balance to an organization. Most middle school

students are experiencing a developmental stage where they are experiencing great upheaval.

Maslow characterized this growth period, in his developmental theory, as the time where they are

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learning major life skills and finding the ability to form genuine relationships with others around

them (Medcalf et al., 2013). Middle school educational administrators can provide an

environment for adolescents that can be seen as safe for exploration due to the relatively smaller

size of middle school compared to elementary school and high school. Due to specialized

instruction and individualized attention, middle school students are more accessible to

educational administrators and behavior issues can be addressed and followed up accordingly

(Anton, 1974)

High school educational administrators. In order to address the second research study,

we will now look at high school educational administrators and possible differences in

personality traits and leadership style in contrast to the two other school types in the current

study sample. High school consists of grade nine through grade twelve but depending on the

district some high schools exclude grade nine. High school students are typically between

fourteen and eighteen years of age. In regards to adolescent age level, the researcher will now

examine the basic developmental stages typically associated with high school aged students in

order to set the framework for possible differences in the data between the three school types.

The majority of research on adolescent development describes the high school years as a

time of continuing the discovery of identity and total independence (Berk, 2013). Erikson

included this time period of growth, in his developmental theory, within the time identified as the

“identity versus role confusion” stage of psychosocial development (Studer, 2007). Adolescents

are attempting to attain a sense of “fidelity” that is characterized as the ability of the young adult

to form meaningful relationships within their world that are satisfying and enriching (Buss,

1979). Maslow illustrated, in his theory of development, a transcendence during the high school

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years where adolescents rise above primal needs and search for “peak experiences” that expand

horizons and assist in profound personal growth (Studer, 2007).

In the current study findings, the high school educational administrators were revealed to

have the highest mean score in the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style domain (m =

.854, SD = .662) out of the three school types. Defining characteristics of the laissez-faire

leadership/non-leadership style are conflict avoidance and avoiding responsibility (Bass &

Avolio, 1996). The laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style domain is congruent with

procrastination of action and total lack of involvement (Rowold & Heinitz, 2007). High school

students have a reputation for similar personality characteristics which may explain the study

findings. Additionally, due to the large of students in the high school setting compared to

elementary schools and middle schools, educational administrators may feel like they can get

away with doing nothing because the school is so large it may be easy to evade responsibilities

and not get caught.

Furthermore, high school educational administrators had the lowest mean score in the

transformational leadership style domain out of all three school types (m = 3.01, SD = .527).

Perhaps the young adults in the high school setting are past the point of wanting guidance from

adults in positions of power and high school administrators do not see the need to put in the

effort if it is unwanted. Another possible explanation for the findings in the current study may be

the sheer size of the high school setting. Out of the three school types, high schools are by far the

largest in terms of total number of students served and it may be more difficult for high school

administrators to engage in the influential engagement that is a hallmark of transformational

leadership with so many students to serve. Previous research suggests that the majority of the

time, high school educational administrators are handling behavior issues and the simple

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management of school resources (Hallinger, 2012). Due to the time constraints of discipline

issues and school day maintenance, high school educational leaders may be unable to invest the

time needed to make a true difference in an adolescents’ life. In addition, the high school

classroom configuration is similar to the middle school domain in terms of specialized

instruction. The difference may be the number of students seen by a high school administrator in

terms of sheer volume. The number of students in high school and the constant movement from

one venue to another may make it tough for the educational administrator to differentiate one

young adult from another.

When looking at the data from the study in the context of high school leaders and their

personality traits, it is easy to see the similarities between the personalities of the administrators

and the adolescents that they serve. Highs school administrators had the lowest mean score of

four of the five personality traits out of the three school types. High school leadership had the

lowest mean score in the agreeableness personality trait domain (m = 5.08, SD = 1.41) and it is

noteworthy that an adolescent is not always completely concerned with getting along with those

around them, especially when they are not in control of the context. Administrators that have a

desire for every one to get along and have group cohesion will not be a good fit for the high

school setting.

Additionally, high school educational administrators also exhibited the lowest mean score

in the conscientiousness personality trait domain (m = 6.02, SD = 1.17) out of the three school

type within the current study sample. The conscientiousness personality traits’ defining

characteristics are that of dependability and responsibility (Slavickas, Briddick & Watkins,

2002). High school adolescents often exhibit behaviors characterized as irresponsible and/or

disorderly which are in contrast to the conscientiousness personality trait and perhaps high

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school educational leaders relate to the factor of flexibility. Moreover, high school educational

administrators that do happen to exhibit a high magnitude in the conscientiousness personality

trait domain may find it frustrating to work with high school students due to the disorganization

and procrastination from the wanderlust mentality so prevalent during this stage of development

(Bell & Staw, 1989).

High school educational leaders displayed the lowest mean score within the emotional

stability personality trait, in the current study, out of the three school types in the sample (m =

5.52, SD = 1.37). Characteristics typically associated with the emotional stability personality trait

is the ability to stay calm and keep emotions under control. High school administrators encounter

a turbulent group of young adults in the high school setting and may need the ability to

empathize with such fluctuation of emotions to navigate such waters on a daily basis. Perhaps the

emotional reactivity that is commonly associated with the high school adolescent is also mirrored

in the high school educational administrators that work with such young adults. Furthermore,

perhaps the unstable environment of high school speaks to the personality of a high school

administrator who feels more comfortable in unpredictable surroundings and finds it to be most

stimulating.

Current study findings suggested that high school educational administrators had the

lowest mean score in the openness to experience personality trait domain (m = 5.42, SD = 1.00)

out of the three school types. Defining characteristics of the openness to experiences personality

trait domain is that of imagination and the excitement of new things. It is the researchers’

vantage point that high school administrators are not open to new experiences that may arise and

take them out of the predictable day to day routine of the school year. Additionally, perhaps due

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to the size of the high school setting that it has become more of a mechanism of education where

new experiences and deviation from the predetermined path of learning may be frowned upon.

In addition, in terms of the current study effect size between leadership style and school

type variables, the transformational leadership style exhibited a medium sized effect in the

current study data analysis (R = .08), the transactional leadership style displayed a small effect

size with school type (R = .01) and the laissez-faire leadership/non-leadership style was observed

to have a small effect size with school type in the present study (R = .02). Furthermore, in

regards to the current study effect size between the personality trait and school type variables, the

extraversion personality trait was distinguished as having a large effect size with school type (R

= .20). The agreeableness personality trait had a small effect size in the current study with school

type (R = .45). Additionally, the conscientiousness personality trait was observed to have a small

effect size with school type in the present study findings (R = .01). The emotional stability

personality trait also exposed a small effect size with school type in the current study (R = .03).

Finally, the openness to experience personality trait displayed a medium effect size with school

type in the data analysis (R = .07). Thus, determining that associations between school types,

leadership style and the personality traits of educational administrators have been detected in the

present study.

Implications for Policy and Practice

The data gathered from the present research study intends to assist with educational

leadership professional development and coaching practices. From a practical point of view,

educational leaders that understand how personality traits affect decision making and their

elements of leadership style it may assist in better support for all educational stakeholders. If

educational administrators know their own personality and leadership specifics, in addition to the

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characteristics of those that they lead, then an influential environment may emerge to assist in

optimal student learning. Specialized support can be provided for subordinates and the

opportunity to coach followers to their finest is a greater possibility with an arsenal available to

them in terms of possible personal preferences. It is also important for leaders not to generalize

and put followers into simple distinguishable categories, but to instead use such information

about personality preferences and leadership tendencies to help assist and guide administrators.

Noteworthy findings in the current study data also indicates that personality traits and

leadership style may also assist with administrator school placement. Such information could

assist a superintendent with an understanding that an individual that may not succeed at the high

school level but in contrast may flourish at the elementary school level. Perhaps by integrating

the notions explored in this research study, such school placements could be based on a sense of

personality “best fit” where a personality trait and leadership style profile presented by human

resources could assist an administrator with making a final decision when picking which school

type to allow them to lead. It may simply allow for a nudge in the most comfortable direction

when it comes to where the administrator may either sink or swim.

Recommendations for Future Research

There are a number of elements to this research study that could be reconfigured if

replicated. The usage of self report data on the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X

– Self) has been shown to lend its self to skew towards a bias of social desirability and how an

individual would like to think of themselves as a leader. If the study were to be repeated, it is the

researchers’ recommendation that the subordinate report method be utilized to gain administrator

leadership style in order to gain more accurate data. Additionally, gender differences in the data,

in regards to differences in leadership style and personality type, would also be a

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recommendation for further study. Furthermore, the present research study aimed to look at

elementary, middle and high school educational administrators but there was extraneous

information recovered from the study in terms of other administrator demographics that did not

fit into the current study design. Further research on the differences in personality traits and

leadership style of district superintendents and alternative schools, for example, would be

beneficial to the field of literature available on educational leadership. Findings from the data

analysis also recommends further study into the personality types and leadership style of

administrators in relation to the student population and school site in which they serve. Further

knowledge about connections between student, teacher and administrator tendencies as they

relate to leadership style, personality traits and school type could be beneficial to the field if

educational leadership.

In terms of specific modifications that would be made to the current research study, if

replicated, would include changing the order of data gathered in the study survey so that the

shorter of the two measurement tools were given first to the subject. Thus, by completing the Ten

Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) which is significantly shorter compared to the Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) it may have improved study survey completion

rates. Furthermore, an addition to the demographic survey that would be to add the amount of

years in which the administrator has been in a leadership role in order to examine levels of

experience.

In addition to the above mentioned study modifications recommended if replicated, the

survey distribution design exhibited a discrimination against educational administrators that are

not tech savvy and/or do not have an online social media presence. The only data gathering

method that was utilized in the current study was notifications on social media and therefore

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eliminating an entire population that was not active online. Also, the data gathering method did

not allow for follow-up in order to give the administrators the results from their Multi-Factor

Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) and their Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)

scores. An incentive like receiving information about leadership style and personality traits may

have increased study participation.

Summary

The purpose of this quantitative research study was to investigate the extent to which, if

at all, there were relationships between the degree of three leadership styles and magnitude of

five personality traits among elementary, middle and high school educational administrators, as

well as to explore the extent to which, if at all, differences in these variables existed among the

three groups. Data analysis suggests that there were, in fact, relationships detected between the

variables within the demographic sample. It also appears that a differences between specific

school types and the nuances of leadership style and personality traits of educational leaders was

identified in the present study findings. Results obtained in this study indicates a need for further

study into the possibility of further connections in order to improve the field of educational

leadership.

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APPENDIX A

Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X – Self) Measurement Tool

For use by Nicole Chatwin only. Received from Mind Garden, Inc. on June 18, 2016
Permission for Nicole Chatwin to reproduce 400 copies
within one year of June 18, 2016

Multifactor Leadership QuestionnaireTM


Instrument (Leader and Rater Form)
and Scoring Guide
(Form 5X-Short)

by Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass

Published by Mind Garden, Inc.

info@mindgarden.com
www.mindgarden.com

IMPORTANT NOTE TO LICENSEE


If you have purchased a license to reproduce or administer a fixed number of copies of an
existing Mind Garden instrument, manual, or workbook, you agree that it is your legal
responsibility to compensate the copyright holder of this work -- via payment to Mind Garden –
for reproduction or administration in any medium. Reproduction includes all forms of
physical or electronic administration including online survey, handheld survey devices,
etc.
The copyright holder has agreed to grant a license to reproduce the specified number of
copies of this document or instrument within one year from the date of purchase.
You agree that you or a person in your organization will be assigned to track the
number of reproductions or administrations and will be responsible for compensating
Mind Garden for any reproductions or administrations in excess of the number
purchased.

This instrument is covered by U.S. and international copyright laws as well as various state and federal laws
regarding data protection. Any use of this instrument, in whole or in part, is subject to such laws and is expressly
prohibited by the copyright holder. If you would like to request permission to use or reproduce the instrument, in
whole or in part, contact Mind Garden, Inc.

© 1995 Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass. All rights reserved in all media.
Published by Mind Garden, Inc., www.mindgarden.com

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For use by Nicole Chatwin only. Received from Mind Garden, Inc. on June 18, 2016
MLQ Multifactor Leadership QuestionnaireTM
Leader Form (5x-Short)

My Name: ______________________________________________________________ Date: ______________


Organization ID #: _____________________________ Leader ID #: __________________________________

This questionnaire is to describe your leadership style as you perceive it. Please answer all items on this answer
sheet. If an item is irrelevant, or if you are unsure or do not know the answer, leave the answer blank.

Forty-five descriptive statements are listed on the following pages. Judge how frequently each statement fits you.
The word “others” may mean your peers, clients, direct reports, supervisors, and/or all of these individuals.

Use the following rating scale:

Not at all Once in a while Sometimes Fairly often Frequently,


if not always
0 1 2 3 4

1. I provide others with assistance in exchange for their efforts.............................................................. 0 1 2 3 4


2. I re-examine critical assumptions to question whether they are appropriate ....................................... 0 1 2 3 4
3. I fail to interfere until problems become serious ................................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
4. I focus attention on irregularities, mistakes, exceptions, and deviations from standards .................... 0 1 2 3 4
5. I avoid getting involved when important issues arise .......................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
6. I talk about my most important values and beliefs .............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
7. I am absent when needed..................................................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
8. I seek differing perspectives when solving problems .......................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
9. I talk optimistically about the future.................................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
10. I instill pride in others for being associated with me ........................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
11. I discuss in specific terms who is responsible for achieving performance targets ............................... 0 1 2 3 4
12. I wait for things to go wrong before taking action .............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
13. I talk enthusiastically about what needs to be accomplished ............................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
14. I specify the importance of having a strong sense of purpose ............................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
15. I spend time teaching and coaching..................................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
Continued =>

© 1995 Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass. All rights reserved in all media.
Published by Mind Garden, Inc., www.mindgarden.com

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For use by Nicole Chatwin only. Received from Mind Garden, Inc. on June 18, 2016

Not at all Once in a while Sometimes Fairly often Frequently,


if not always
0 1 2 3 4

16. I make clear what one can expect to receive when performance goals are achieved ........................... 0 1 2 3 4
17. I show that I am a firm believer in “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” ...................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
18. I go beyond self-interest for the good of the group ............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
19. I treat others as individuals rather than just as a member of a group ................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
20. I demonstrate that problems must become chronic before I take action .............................................. 0 1 2 3 4
21. I act in ways that build others’ respect for me ..................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
22. I concentrate my full attention on dealing with mistakes, complaints, and failures ............................. 0 1 2 3 4
23. I consider the moral and ethical consequences of decisions ................................................................ 0 1 2 3 4
24. I keep track of all mistakes .................................................................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
25. I display a sense of power and confidence .......................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
26. I articulate a compelling vision of the future ....................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
27. I direct my attention toward failures to meet standards ....................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
28. I avoid making decisions ..................................................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
29. I consider an individual as having different needs, abilities, and aspirations from others ................... 0 1 2 3 4
30. I get others to look at problems from many different angles ............................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
31. I help others to develop their strengths ............................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
32. I suggest new ways of looking at how to complete assignments ......................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
33. I delay responding to urgent questions ................................................................................................ 0 1 2 3 4
34. I emphasize the importance of having a collective sense of mission ................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
35. I express satisfaction when others meet expectations .......................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
36. I express confidence that goals will be achieved ................................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
37. I am effective in meeting others’ job-related needs ............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
38. I use methods of leadership that are satisfying .................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
39. I get others to do more than they expected to do ................................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
40. I am effective in representing others to higher authority ..................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
41. I work with others in a satisfactory way .............................................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
42. I heighten others’ desire to succeed .................................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
43. I am effective in meeting organizational requirements ........................................................................ 0 1 2 3 4
44. I increase others’ willingness to try harder .......................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
45. I lead a group that is effective ............................................................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4

© 1995 Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass. All rights reserved in all media.
Published by Mind Garden, Inc., www.mindgarden.com

130

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For use by Nicole Chatwin only. Received from Mind Garden, Inc. on June 18, 2016
MLQ Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire
Scoring Key (5x) Short
My Name: ______________________________________________________________ Date: ______________
Organization ID #: _____________________________ Leader ID #: __________________________________

Scoring: The MLQ scale scores are average scores for the items on the scale. The score can be derived by
summing the items and dividing by the number of items that make up the scale. All of the leadership style scales
have four items, Extra Effort has three items, Effectiveness has four items, and Satisfaction has two items.

Not at all Once in a while Sometimes Fairly often Frequently,


if not always
0 1 2 3 4
Idealized Influence (Attributed) total/4 = Management-by-Exception (Active) total/4 =
Idealized Influence (Behavior) total/4 = Management-by-Exception (Passive) total/4 =
Inspirational Motivation total/4 = Laissez-faire Leadership total/4 =
Intellectual Stimulation total/4 = Extra Effort total/3 =
Individualized Consideration total/4 = Effectiveness total/4 =
Contingent Reward total/4 = Satisfaction total/2 =

1. Contingent Reward .............................................................. 0 1 2 3 4


2. Intellectual Stimulation ............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
3. Management-by-Exception (Passive) ............ 0 1 2 3 4
4. Management-by-Exception (Active) ........................ 0 1 2 3 4
5. Laissez-faire .......................................... 0 1 2 3 4
6. Idealized Influence (Behavior) ....................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
7. Laissez-faire .......................................... 0 1 2 3 4
8. Intellectual Stimulation ............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
9. Inspirational Motivation ...................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
10. Idealized Influence (Attributed) ............................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
11. Contingent Reward .............................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
12. Management-by-Exception (Passive) ............ 0 1 2 3 4
13. Inspirational Motivation ...................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
14. Idealized Influence (Behavior) ....................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
15. Individualized Consideration ......................................................... 0 1 2 3 4

Continued =>

© 1995 Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass. All rights reserved in all media.
Published by Mind Garden, Inc., www.mindgarden.com

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For use by Nicole Chatwin only. Received from Mind Garden, Inc. on June 18, 2016

Not at all Once in a while Sometimes Fairly often Frequently,


if not always
0 1 2 3 4

16. Contingent Reward .............................................................. 0 1 2 3 4


17. Management-by-Exception (Passive) ............ 0 1 2 3 4
18. Idealized Influence (Attributed) ............................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
19. Individualized Consideration ......................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
20. Management-by-Exception (Passive) ............ 0 1 2 3 4
21. Idealized Influence (Attributed) ............................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
22. Management-by-Exception (Active) ........................ 0 1 2 3 4
23. Idealized Influence (Behavior) ....................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
24. Management-by-Exception (Active) ........................ 0 1 2 3 4
25. Idealized Influence (Attributed) ............................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
26. Inspirational Motivation ...................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
27. Management-by-Exception (Active) ........................ 0 1 2 3 4
28. Laissez-faire .......................................... 0 1 2 3 4
29. Individualized Consideration ......................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
30. Intellectual Stimulation ............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
31. Individualized Consideration ......................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
32. Intellectual Stimulation ............................................................................. 0 1 2 3 4
33. Laissez-faire .......................................... 0 1 2 3 4
34. Idealized Influence (Behavior) ....................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
35. Contingent Reward .................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
36. Inspirational Motivation ...................................................................................... 0 1 2 3 4
37. Effectiveness .................... 0 1 2 3 4
38. Satisfaction............ 0 1 2 3 4
39. Extra Effort ................................ 0 1 2 3 4
40. Effectiveness .................... 0 1 2 3 4
41. Satisfaction............ 0 1 2 3 4
42. Extra Effort ................................ 0 1 2 3 4
43. Effectiveness .................... 0 1 2 3 4
44. Extra Effort ................................ 0 1 2 3 4
45. Effectiveness .................... 0 1 2 3 4

© 1995 Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass. All rights reserved in all media.
Published by Mind Garden, Inc., www.mindgarden.com

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For use by Nicole Chatwin only. Received from Mind Garden, Inc. on June 18, 2016

The MLQ -- I’ve finished my data collection... Now what?

Step 1: Acquire the Manual for the MLQ


If you need to order the manual, you may go online and with a credit card order a PDF/electronic copy to be
delivered same day. http://www.mindgarden.com/multifactor-leadership-questionnaire/238-mlq-manual.html

Step 2: Group the MLQ Items


Use the MLQ Scoring Key to group items by scale (See below for classification of items and scales).

Step 3: Calculation of Averages


Calculate an average by scale. (Example: the items which are included in the Idealized Influence (Attributed)
are Items 10,18,21,25. Add the scores for all responses to these items and divide by the total number of
responses for that item. Blank answers should not be included in the calculation). NOTE: you may find a
spreadsheet tool such as MS Excel to be helpful in recording, organizing and calculating averages.

Step 4: Analysis
The MLQ is not designed to encourage the labeling of a leader as Transformational or Transactional. Rather, it
is more appropriate to identify a leader or group of leaders as (for example) “more transformational than the
norm” or “less transactional than the norm”.

One option for analysis is to compare the average for each scale to the norm tables in Appendix B of the MLQ
Manual. (EXAMPLE: by looking at Appendix B Percentiles for Individual Scores table in the back of the
Manual, you will see that a score of 2.75 for Idealized Attributes (also known as Idealized Influence (Attributed)
) is at the 40th percentile, meaning 40% of the normed population scored lower, and 60% scored higher than
2.75.)

See next page

© 1995 Bruce Avolio and Bernard Bass. All rights reserved in all media.
Published by Mind Garden, Inc., www.mindgarden.com

133

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

APPENDIX B

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Measurement Tool

Here are a number of personality traits that may or may not apply to you. Please write a number
next to each statement to indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with that statement.
You should rate the extent to which the pair of traits applies to you, even if one characteristic
applies more strongly than the other.

1 = Disagree strongly
2 = Disagree moderately
3 = Disagree a little
4 = Neither agree nor disagree 5 = Agree a little
6 = Agree moderately
7 = Agree strongly

I see myself as:

1. _____ Extraverted, enthusiastic.


2. _____ Critical, quarrelsome.
3. _____ Dependable, self-disciplined.
4. _____ Anxious, easily upset.
5. _____ Open to new experiences, complex.
6. _____ Reserved, quiet.
7. _____ Sympathetic, warm.
8. _____ Disorganized, careless.
9. _____ Calm, emotionally stable.
10. _____ Conventional, uncreative.

TIPI scale scoring (“R” denotes reverse-scored items):

Extraversion: 1, 6R; Agreeableness: 2R, 7; Conscientiousness; 3, 8R; Emotional Stability: 4R, 9;


Openness to Experiences: 5, 10R.

Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. B., Jr. (2003). A Very Brief Measure of the Big
Five Personality Domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(1), 504-528.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

APPENDIX C

Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ:5X) International Normative Sample

Total Sample Self Higher Level


(N = 27285) (N = 3375) (N = 4268)
Scales Mean SD Range Mean SD Range Mean SD Range
Idealized
Influence -
Attributed 2.94 0.76 4.00 2.96 0.53 3.50 2.97 0.71 4.00
Idealized
Influence –
Behavior 2.77 0.72 4.00 2.99 0.59 3.75 2.74 0.70 4.00

Inspirational
Motivation 2.92 0.76 4.00 3.04 0.59 3.50 2.78 0.76 4.00

Intellectual
Stimulation 2.78 0.71 4.00 2.96 0.52 3.50 2.70 0.69 4.00

Individualized
Consideration 2.85 0.78 4.00 3.16 0.52 3.00 2.83 0.66 4.00

Contingent
Reward 2.87 0.7 4.00 2.99 0.53 3.50 2.67 0.62 4.00
Management by
Exception -
Active 1.67 0.86 4.00 1.56 0.79 4.00 1.66 0.86 4.00
Management by
Exception -
Passive 1.03 0.75 4.00 1.07 0.62 4.00 1.03 0.73 4.00

Laissez-Faire
Leadership 0.65 0.67 4.00 0.61 0.52 3.50 0.63 0.63 4.00

Extra Effort 2.74 0.86 4.00 2.79 0.61 4.00 2.68 0.78 4.00

Effectiveness 3.07 0.72 4.00 3.14 0.51 3.75 3.05 0.71 4.00

Satisfaction 3.08 0.83 4.00 3.09 0.55 3.50 3.08 0.76 4.00
(continued)

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

Scales Same Level (N = 5185) Lower Level (N = 4376) Other Level (N = 1959)

Mean SD Range Mean SD Range Mean SD Range


Idealized
Influence -
Attributed 2.93 0.75 4.00 2.93 0.82 4.00 2.88 0.81 4.00
Idealized
Influence -
Behavior 2.77 0.70 4.00 2.73 0.76 4.00 2.88 0.61 4.00

Inspirational
Motivation 2.84 0.74 4.00 2.97 0.79 4.00 2.72 0.75 4.00

Intellectual
Stimulation 2.77 0.70 4.00 2.76 0.75 4.00 2.84 0.82 4.00

Individualized
Consideration 2.83 0.74 4.00 2.78 0.68 4.00 2.72 0.75 4.00

Contingent
Reward 2.88 0.65 4.00 2.84 0.78 4.00 2.75 0.81 4.00
Management by
Exception -
Active 1.72 0.66 4.00 1.87 0.92 4.00 2.81 0.73 4.00
Management by
Exception -
Passive 1.04 0.74 4.00 1.02 0.79 4.00 1.73 0.69 4.00

Laissez-Faire
Leadership 0.65 0.66 4.00 0.66 0.72 4.00 1.04 0.78 4.00

Extra Effort 2.68 0.87 4.00 2.78 0.94 4.00 0.72 0.71 4.00

Effectiveness 3.02 0.73 4.00 3.09 0.78 4.00 2.69 0.90 4.00

Satisfaction 3.08 0.80 4.00 3.09 0.91 4.00 3.00 0.77 4.00

Copyright 2004 by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Mind Garden, Inc.

136

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

APPENDIX D

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Female Score Norms by Age Range

Openness
Age Gender Emotional to
Range Female Extraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Stability Experience
15-20 Mean 4.06 4.73 4.52 4.07 5.58
N=
79648 SD 1.58 1.22 1.42 1.46 1.1

21-30 Mean 4.07 4.88 4.78 4.09 5.55


N=
46530 SD 1.61 1.19 1.41 1.45 1.12

31-40 Mean 4.17 5.04 4.97 4.25 5.49


N=
15412 SD 1.64 1.19 1.41 1.45 1.18

41-50 Mean 4.20 5.28 5.18 4.49 5.46


N=
8823 SD 1.64 1.17 1.36 1.45 1.20

51-60 Mean 4.18 5.43 5.35 4.66 5.42


N=
4135 SD 1.60 1.14 1.31 1.44 1.25

61-
older Mean 4.21 5.50 5.39 4.84 5.39
N=
885 SD 1.62 1.15 1.36 1.40 1.27

Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Potter, J. (2014). Norms for the Ten Item Personality
Inventory. Unpublished Data.

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SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

APPENDIX E

Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) Male Score Norms by Age Range

Openness
Age Gender Emotional to
Range Male Extraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Stability Experience
15-20 Mean 3.78 4.47 4.41 4.61 5.43
N=
54973 SD 1.55 1.22 1.39 1.47 1.17

21-30 Mean 3.73 4.5 4.57 4.64 5.49


N=
40737 SD 1.54 1.20 1.39 1.46 1.13

31-40 Mean 3.81 4.55 4.77 4.63 5.49


N=
14752 SD 1.54 1.21 1.35 1.42 1.12

41-50 Mean 3.85 4.70 4.96 4.72 5.41


N=
7668 SD 1.54 1.18 1.35 1.39 1.17

51-60 Mean 3.87 4.89 5.11 4.80 5.39


N=
3532 SD 1.54 1.18 1.31 1.38 1.20

61-
older Mean 3.85 4.95 5.26 4.92 5.37
N=
905 SD 1.49 1.17 1.30 1.34 1.26

Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Potter, J. (2014). Norms for the Ten Item Personality
Inventory. Unpublished Data.

138

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS’ PERSONALITY TRAITS AND LEADERSHIP STYLE

APPENDIX F

Pepperdine University IRB (Internal Review Board) Approval Notice


Pepperdine University

24255 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA 90263

TEL: 310-506-4000

NOTICE OF APPROVAL OF HUMAN RESEARCH

Date: June 14, 2016


Protocol Investigator Name: Nicole Chatwin


Protocol #: 16-04-251


Project Title: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles Among School Administrators

School: Graduate School of Education and Psychology


Dear Nicole Chatwin:

Thank you for submitting your application for exempt review to Pepperdine University's Institutional Review Board (IRB). We
appreciate the work you have done on your proposal. The IRB has reviewed your submitted IRB application and all ancillary
materials. Upon review, the IRB has determined that the above entitled project meets the requirements for exemption under the
federal regulations 45 CFR 46.101 that govern the protections of human subjects.

Your research must be conducted according to the proposal that was submitted to the IRB. If changes to the approved protocol
occur, a revised protocol must be reviewed and approved by the IRB before implementation. For any proposed changes in your
research protocol, please submit an amendment to the IRB. Since your study falls under exemption, there is no requirement for
continuing IRB review of your project. Please be aware that changes to your protocol may prevent the research from qualifying
for exemption from 45 CFR 46.101 and require submission of a new IRB application or other materials to the IRB.

A goal of the IRB is to prevent negative occurrences during any research study. However, despite the best intent, unforeseen
circumstances or events may arise during the research. If an unexpected situation or adverse event happens during your
investigation, please notify the IRB as soon as possible. We will ask for a complete written explanation of the event and your
written response. Other actions also may be required depending on the nature of the event. Details regarding the timeframe in
which adverse events must be reported to the IRB and documenting the adverse event can be found in the Pepperdine University
Protection of Human Participants in Research: Policies and Procedures Manual at community.pepperdine.edu/irb.

Please refer to the protocol number denoted above in all communication or correspondence related to your application and this
approval. Should you have additional questions or require clarification of the contents of this letter, please contact the IRB
Office. On behalf of the IRB, I wish you success in this scholarly pursuit.

Sincerely,
Judy Ho, Ph.D.,

IRB Chairperson

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